Moscow Mule & The Love Affair with Copper.
Classic cocktails are making a comeback and just like the Old Fashioned we reviewed a few weeks ago the Moscow Mule has also re-emerged on the scene and seems to be everywhere at the moment, due in part to its classic presentation in a Copper mug which appears to have spurred somewhat of a “Copper revolution’.
My current favorite Moscow Mule was the recent shift drink at Boca Winter Park, a delicious derivative on the Mule theme made with the addition of muddled Cucumber and Honey.
The Moscow Mule is a classic American cocktail, and the history behind it starts with the Vodka that is the main ingredient in the cocktail. If you go back to the 1940s, Vodka did not have the popularity it enjoys today, in fact it is reported that Americans joked that Vodka was Russian for “horrible”.
The story of its invention sounds more like an Urban Myth, but I will leave it up to you to judge the authenticity, in any case it’s good tale.
It goes something like this. Around 1940 an entrepreneur called John G. Martin purchased the U.S. rights to a Vodka brand but soon realized he could not sell it in any quantity as the demand for Vodka was almost nonexistent. A chance meeting in the bar of Jack Morgan who owned the Cock’n’Bull revealed he had a similar problem but in his case it was with Ginger beer. Enter a third party at the same bar who had a shipment of Copper mugs he couldn’t sell either. You can guess the rest of this story, with the help of a bartender they combined all their problems and the rest as they say is history, namely a Vodka and Ginger beer cocktail served in a Copper mug.
The name Moscow Mule is reported to be derived from the relationship between Russia and Vodka and the Mule element relates to the “Kick” the Ginger Beer delivers, but this explanation is even more tenuous than the story of its invention.
To make a Moscow Mule you will need:
2 oz. of Premium Vodka
4 oz. of Ginger beer (Not Ginger Ale)
4 Lime wedges
Fill a Copper mug halfway up with ice (a Copper mug is essential for a proper presentation). Squeeze the juice from three lime wedges over the ice. Add vodka, and then top off with ginger beer and stir adding the last lime wedge for garnish.
Why Copper? I hear you ask. Well if you disregard the notion that one of the creators had an abundance of the product, there are still true benefits of using copper Moscow Mule mugs. The most scientific benefit of using a Copper mug is temperature. Copper conducts temperature extremely well and retains that temperature just as well, so the mug becomes extra chilled almost immediately as soon you add the ice and stays that way for much longer than with an equivalent glass receptacle.
Obviously, the clearest reason to use a Copper mug for a Moscow Mule is the presentation, a glass simply does not have the same impact.
Aside from the Moscow Mule Copper Mug, the American “Love Affair” with Copper continues, with many claims relating to the health benefits of Copper, and these claims cover a vast amount of medical conditions.
- Helps the digestive system perform better
- Aids in weight loss
- Helps heal wounds faster
- Slows down ageing
- Helps maintain cardiovascular health and beats hypertension
- Can fight cancer
- Can kill bacteria
- Regulates the working of the thyroid gland
- Beats arthritis and inflamed joints
- Skin health and melanin production
- Beats anemia
A little known fact about Copper is that it is required in most body processes, Copper is an essential mineral for the functioning of your body, as to the above claims I will leave up to the reader to be their own judge.
But don’t’ expect to come away from the bar after drinking a Moscow Mule having eradicated all the ailments and gaining immune system support as suggested from the list above, as most commercial mugs are lined with Nickel or Stainless steel so the amount of Copper entering your system would be negligible. This interior lining prevents chemical reactions between Copper and the ingredients of the drink and it also prevents copper from leaking into your cocktail. The main reason for drinking a Moscow Mule in a Copper mug as far as I can see is its ability to keep your cocktail colder for longer, as indicated by the resultant frosting on the side of the mug.
It is claimed, that to get the health benefits of a Copper infused drink an unlined mug is required and should be safe to drink from depending on a couple of factors.
- They must be filled only with cold or room-temperature beverages.
- They must not be filled with an acidic substance.
Both heat and acidity react with Copper, thereby having the potential to dissolve the Copper and allow it to leak into your drink.
As with any great marketing campaign Copper drinking and cooking utensils are now ‘of the moment” giving the subliminal message of health and quality.
For me, I will just stick to the Moscow Mule for my “Copper Fix” and maybe, just maybe feel younger, healthier and bacteria free as I exit the bar. Some hope I think!!!!