Moscow Mule

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Cocktail History

The Moscow Mule is a classic cocktail that was created by John Martin and Jack Morgan in the 1940s at Cock ‘n’ Bull in Los Angeles, California.

According to cocktail historians, Martin purchased Smirnoff Vodka with the idea that he could make the brand as popular in the United States as it was in Russia at the time, but he quickly found that no one wanted to buy it. Dismayed, he ended up at the bar where bartender Jack Morgan worked where he learned that Morgan was having a similar problem with his own beverage—ginger beer. Since they were both at risk of losing all their money on their investments, they decided to mix the two ingredients and started marketing it as a cocktail served in a snazzy copper mug, which soon after took off and became one of the most popular drinks in America.

Although it’s unknown exactly how the name originated, it’s believed to have been randomly selected. At the time, Americans associated vodka with Russia, hence the word “Moscow.” And then “Mule” was added to the name because the ginger beer gives the drink a “kick” of flavor.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Vodka: This is the base spirit. Moscow Mules are traditionally made with Smirnoff Vodka, but we went with Belvedere Vodka because it’s what we had on hand. It’s an award-winning Polish spirit with notes of vanilla, black pepper, Brazilian nuts, and spice.

Lime Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors for balance. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Ginger Beer: This adds ginger beer flavor, stretches out the drink, and makes it lighter and more refreshing. We recommend using Reed’s Ginger Beer or Q Mixers Ginger Beer.

Lime Wheel: This is one of the garnishes. It adds more fresh lime aroma and flavor.

Mint Sprig: This is the other garnish. It adds fresh mint aroma and flavor.

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

Sale
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Rosenbaum, Stephanie (Author); English (Publication Language); 108 Pages – 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) – Egg & Dart (Publisher)
$4.95

AuthorThe Art of Vintage CocktailsPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 4 oz Ginger Beer
 1 Lime Wheel
 1 Mint Sprig

Method
1

Add vodka and lime juice to a Moscow Mule mug.

2

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

3

Fill mug with ice.

4

Top with ginger beer.

5

Garnish with lime wheel and mint sprig.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 4 oz Ginger Beer
 1 Lime Wheel
 1 Mint Sprig

Directions

Method
1

Add vodka and lime juice to a Moscow Mule mug.

2

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

3

Fill mug with ice.

4

Top with ginger beer.

5

Garnish with lime wheel and mint sprig.

Moscow Mule

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Vodka Cocktails

If you like this vodka-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

 Lemon Drop: A vodka cocktail made with triple sec, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a lemon twist

 Mountaintop Meadow: A vodka cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, lavender bitters, dry sparkling wine, a pineapple wedge, and mint

 Paradise Lost: A vodka and sherry cocktail made with coconut water, lime juice, orgeat syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, and mint

 Vesper Martini: A gin and vodka cocktail made with Lillet Blanc and a lemon twist

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