In 1941, Sophie Berezinski was a woman on a mission. She had immigrated to the United States from Russia and was carrying a heavy burden: 2,000 solid copper mugs. Sophie's father owned and operated a copper factory in Russia known as the Moscow Copper Co. Back in Russia, Sophie had created the design for the original copper mug that is now so famously linked to the Moscow Mule cocktail. Her father ran the presses that stamped out the mugs.
The one tool both Sophie and her father lacked was the slick skills of a salesman. Neither Sophie nor her father were able to sell the mugs in Russia, so the decision was made that Sophie and the mugs would journey to America. After all, it was well known that America was the land of opportunity. However, after some time, the mugs seemed destined for the scrap heap in America too. Sophie's husband Max was tired of the copper mugs cluttering the house, and issued her an ultimatum: "Find a buyer for the mugs or I'm tossing them."
Sophie couldn't bear to see the solid copper mugs she had designed and manufactured with her father end up in a landfill. She began desperately seeking out a buyer, walking door to door in Hollywood in search of a restaurant or lounge owner interested in the mugs. During one of her long days in search of a buyer for the mugs, fate intervened at the famous Cock 'n' Bull pub on the Sunset Strip.
Cock 'N' Bull Pub, where the famous Moscow Mule was created Sophie walked into the Cock 'n' Bull pub at just the right time, on the right day in 1941 to help create a cocktail America would fall in love with. John Martin had purchased the floundering Smirnoff Vodka distillery (yes, that Smirnoff ) in the 1930's. Though he was successful as the head of G.F. Heublein & Brothers, a food and spirits importer that made A1 steak sauce popular, he wasn't as fortunate with vodka.
Americans had no interest in vodka. Beer, whiskey, and other cocktails ruled the roost in America at this time. Jack Morgan was in a similar bind. As owner of the Cock 'n' Bull, he was trying to introduce America to his own brand of ginger beer. The two men were already good friends when they met at Morgan's pub to drown their woes. As the duo lamented their lackluster sales and sought redemption for their respective products, in walked Sophie with her solid copper mugs.
As Sophie would tell the story, the trio spent hours developing a drink that would bring together the fizzy nature of the ginger beer, the punch of the vodka, and the cold properties of copper to create the next great cocktail. After a number of taste tests and a few failed concoctions, they stumbled upon a recipe for a cocktail that would solve all their problems.
The Moscow Mule was born on that day in 1941. The perfect combination of vodka and ginger beer, housed in a solid copper mug that kept the drink cold and enhanced its flavor and aroma, resulting in a cocktail that America would fawn over for the next two decades.
2 ounces vodka
6 ounces ginger beer
1/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
Place ice into Moscow Copper Co. mug and pour in vodka.
Squeeze in lime juice and top with ginger beer.
Garnish with lime wedge and enjoy.
The ingredient vodka does far more than just add a smooth, bold, traditional taste to a Moscow Mule. On top of providing flavor, it's an essential element in cooling down your beverage when added to a copper mug with ice.
You can use any vodka brand that suits your mood (and your pocketbook) as a base for your Moscow Mule. In fact, using a variety of different brands offers the potential to create a unique flavor profile in your drink.
The next ingredient, ginger beer, gives a Moscow Mule its classic fizzy texture along with effervescence and spiciness--qualities that make this such a flavorful and distinctive drink.
Nothing beats the bold ginger flavors and fresh aromatics when a Moscow Mule is mixed just right. Here are a few flavor profiles you can get when using different types of ginger beers...
SPICY | Reed's Ginger Beer packs a punch with extra ginger root in the recipe
CLOUDY | Bundaberg's Ginger Beer is brewed with Australian grown ginger and sugar cane
BOLD | Fever-Tree is an award-winning ginger beer with lots of pop, without being too sweet
FIZZY | Q Ginger Beer is a spicier, less sweet and more carbonated option for your mule
BOOZY | Hollows & Fentimans is alcoholic, fresh, and gluten free
Last but not least, it's essential that you finish your Moscow Mule off with a squeeze of lime--a trademark ingredient of the Original Moscow Mule.
This ingredient is vital to capturing the flavor profile of a Moscow Mule. As the lime is squeezed and stirred into your drink, copper citrate produces a mild flavor that masks metallic tones in your mug. This enhances the overall flavor of the mule--yum!
If you're looking to add a little more of the old mule kick into your concoction, a key lime is the assertive way to go, with an acidic, tangy citrus bite that has slightly herbal undertones.
If, on the other hand, you're into a milder bite, the Persian lime is less bitter and tends to please a broader range of palates. Not to mention, its larger size produces much more juice! Whichever lime you choose, you really can't go wrong.
From the day of the Moscow Mule's creation, lime has been an essential recipe ingredient. Without it, your Mule will lack traditional flavor tones. So, when you're out at the store, don't forget to pick up a bag of limes for the next time you mix a drink--Sophie would be proud!
THE OAXACA MULETAIL