Scent of a Moscow Mule

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Tamar Genger MA, RD
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moscow mule at home

A couple of months ago a cocktail-loving friend of mine mentioned the Moscow Mule. The name didn’t sound the least bit appealing to me, but I have to admit I was intrigued when he explained how he was going to a bar that serves the drink the old-fashioned way -- out of a copper mug. Just like when you discover a new word and then hear it everywhere, over the past few weeks I’ve been followed by the Moscow Mule – in signs, news articles and bar menus so I had to try it myself and share it with you.

The Moscow Mule is made from vodka, ginger beer and lime. It was created in the 1940's to help sell more vodka in the U.S. It was served in the iconic copper mug as a marketing gimmick. People would see others get a cool looking different drink and ask for the same thing. Today, with the resurgence in popularity of this classic cocktail bars are discovering customers walking away with the copper mug as a souvenir, says the Wall Street Journal. People love the drink and want to recreate it at home with the right vessel, but there is a way to do this without committing a felony .

moscow mule copper mugs

The copper mugs are not cheap, this set of 4 runs $75 on Amazon, but if you are a true connoisseur it is worth it. The nice thing about this drink is how easy it is to make. All you need is some quality ginger beer. The basic recipe can be found here, DIY Moscow Mule, I used a beer mug and found it served me well.

moscow mule cocktail

This recipe using lime juice, vodka and ginger beer is the classic version, but that doesn't mean you can't make it your own. Add some biters, use lemon instead of lime, swap bourbon or whiskey in place of vodka. No matter what you do and whether you have a copper mug or not, this drink is an easy and crowd-pleasing cocktail.

If you like this drink as much as me and you like it spicy, you can save a few dollars by creating your own ginger beer.  The easiest way I have found to do it is by making a ginger concentrate and mixing it with seltzer.  Here is my recipe for a Ginger Concentrate that can be used whenever you want to spice up your life.