For those who like to try interesting cocktails, the Moscow Mule is a must. Most cocktails seem to be served in glass flutes of one shape or another, but this drink is different. This is one of the few cases where the distinctive copper mug actually contributes to the enjoyment of the drink. Since the drink and the copper mug have been served together since the origination of the drink, it is now a tradition not to be messed with.

First, The History of the Moscow Mule comes in three parts that make the whole story. Popular legend has it that in the 1930s a man named John Martin, president of a spirits and food importing company called G.F. Heublein & Brothers, purchased a small vodka distillery called Smirnoff. This was part of an effort to market a new cocktail to add to the cocktail craze in the country at that time. He got the distillery for only $14,000.00 because, at that time, few Americans drank vodka. That would soon change, and Smirnoff would become a famous vodka brand. But, to make that happen, someone had to invent a popular vodka cocktail.

By the 1940s, Mr. Martin had discovered that selling his vodka wasn't easy. His friend Jack Morgan, the owner of a pub called Cock 'n Bull, had a basement full of ginger beer he could not sell. A lady friend had a stock of pure copper mugs imprinted with a kicking mule that she did not want. The friends came up with a new cocktail using the things they needed to sell. The drink had vodka and ginger beer combined with a dash of lime juice in just the right proportions and was served in the pure copper mugs. One wonders how many tries it took to get perfection. Did they know that the pure copper mug would enhance the drink? The Moscow Mule was a great success and became one of the most popular drinks of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Why did the copper mug enhance the drink? Copper cups have been used for thousands of years by both the people of ancient Ireland and ancient India. American colonists drank from copper mugs as early as 1640. Copper mugs give chilled drinks an extra cold sensation because the metal absorbs the cold and acts as an insulator. The copper reacts slightly with the vodka and the citric acid boosting aroma, enhancing the drink's taste, and making the drink fizzy. No other material works like pure copper Moscow Mule Mugs for this famous cocktail. Mugs have been made by manufacturers who don't use pure copper, but internal tin, nickel, stainless steel or food lacquer linings defeat the purpose of using a pure copper mug for the chemical reaction. Purists won't drink a Moscow Mule cocktail in anything but genuine Moscow Mule Mugs. For more of the story, please go to