The Moscow Mule is 75 years old in 2016. Once almost forgotten, the cocktail is seeing a bit of a comeback across the pond and so it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be seeing its signature copper mugs over here too.
Created in 1941, the history of the Moscow Mule is remarkably well documented, probably because of the unashamedly capitalistic genesis, which is part of the all-American charm of the drink! The story goes that a chap called John Martin who was at the time importing Smirnoff vodka was looking for a way to promote it to US consumers. He met Jack Morgan who owned the Cock n Bull pub on the sunset strip in LA. Like John Martin, Jack Morgan was also trying to peddle an unpopular product: his own brand of ginger beer. The two hit it off and came up with the idea of combining the vodka with the ginger beer, adding fresh lime and marketing it as a cocktail. The copper mug may have been devised either as a clever bit of early “point of sale”, or because a third party to this creative moment had a job lot of them he was trying to peddle. Whatever, the result was a cocktail that took Hollywood by storm, and from there the US in general.
It is a drink that cocktail ‘snobs’ may look down on, but you can’t argue that the combination is tasty, refreshing and infinitely adaptable. It has given rise to the mule family of cocktails. These are drinks where a sprit is mixed with lime and ginger beer – so you can get creative and mix up something with pretty much anything you have to hand.
Here at Sub 13 we make a vacation on the Moscow Mule called a lavender mule, using lavender infused holy grass vodka, lime juice and ginger beer…