There has been a recent uprise in the popularity of a Moscow Mule cocktail. Typically found in a shiny copper mug garnished with a lime wedge, it is no surprise this classic drink is making a comeback. At over 75 years old, the Moscow Mule has a rich history with varying stories of how it came to be. Which isn’t too surprising when thinking about passing tales of history with liquor involved. Whatever story you want to stick with, when piecing the parts together, it’s clear that the Moscow Mule probably came to be from the need to market three of its main ingredients: Vodka, Ginger Beer, and Copper Mugs.

Most theories match up and place Hollywood, California as the birthplace of the Mule, specifically at the Cock n’ Bull Pub on Sunset Blvd. It was here where John Martin worried about his inability to sell vodka, which in the 1940s was not a popular drink of choice in America. Facing a similar dilemma, Jack Morgan, owner of Cock n’ Bull Pub struggled to sell his Ginger Beers. The two come together with an unlikely third party member; Sophie Berezinski. Sophie left Russia in the early 1900’s in the hope of a better life. She eventually landed in Hollywood, bringing along her original copper mugs she designed and manufactured at her fathers’ factory back home in Russia. Hoping to find a buyer for her copper mugs, Sophie meets John and Jack and the three form a perfect trifecta to create the original Moscow Mule.

It’s not clear as to where the name Moscow Mule came from, but it’s easy to conclude that Moscow was chosen due to most Americans associating vodka with Russia, and our dear friend Sophie’s mugs were first designed in Russia. Speculators assume the Mule was added on to describe the fresh “kick” the drinker feels from the ginger beer.

So why is this drink popular over 75 years later? For one, it looks cool. While you don’t need the copper mug, it is said to aid in keeping the beverage cool, and contribute to the flavor as the vodka oxidizes with the copper. Other than that, it’s a simple drink to make. In many great cocktails, all you need are strong spirits, bubbles, and citrus. From there, everything else is easy.

Moscow Mule:

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1/4 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • 6 Ounces of Ginger Beer
  • Lime Garnish
  • Copper Mug