Copper mugs are synonymous with the Moscow mule, but why? Is it just for show? It turns outs, there are both historical – and even scientific – reasons why the copper mug and Moscow Mule are the perfect combination.
The history is fuzzy (as is the case with most cocktail legends), but it appears that the copper mug for a Moscow mule could have started as a mere coincidence. Most historians agree that the Moscow Mule was invented sometime around 1940 by Jack Morgan and John Martin. Morgan was the owner of the Cock ‘n’ Bull restaurant in LA and Martin was the newly minted owner of Smirnoff vodka. As legend would have it, the two were having trouble selling their drinks to the public (Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer and Smirnoff vodka), so they decided to combine the two to make the Moscow Mule. (We’re pretty glad that worked out!)
Now as for the copper mug, some stories say Morgan had a girlfriend who owned a copper company. Other stories say it was a Russian immigrant who was selling copper for cheap to make ends meet that owned the copper mugs. Either way, Morgan and Martin found cheap copper mugs readily available and, combined with the tangy flavors of the mule, they hit the jackpot.
Scientifically Copper Just Works Better for a Mule
Whether Morgan and Martin realized it or not, the copper mugs were the perfect glass for a mule. Copper is very good at conducting temperature, so when an ice cold mule is poured inside, the glass actually takes on that temperature and keeps the drink frosty cold longer. Also, there is research to support that the copper interacts with the drink and actually enhances the tangy flavors of ginger and lime in the cocktail.
If you’ve made it this far, then we know you’re ready for a mule! Head over to Tricky Fish in Richardson, Texas or Fort Worth, Texas and join us for lunch, happy hour, or dinner. We’ll show you what a great Moscow mule tastes like!