Why Is It Called A Moscow Mule: The History Of The Drink

Moscow mule is a refreshing cocktail drink prepared by mixing Vodka, Ginger beer, lime juice and served with ice and mint in copper mugs. The drink is famous for its gingery kick and refreshing lemon flavor.

Most of the stories about the birth of this cocktail drink dates back to 1940s. The most popular story regarding this explains that the drink was invented in Hollywood, at the Cock’n Bull restaurant, where, Jack Morgan, the owner of this famous pub joined hands with John G.Martin of Heublein Brothers Inc, to promote vodka and ginger beer. John Martin had purchased the Smirnoff name and recipe and was trying to promote it. It is known that Martin visited the Cock ’n’ Bull on a Sunset Strip, where Jack Morgan, was facing difficulty in selling the product, the ginger beer. At Cock’n Bull, they invented the new cocktail drink by mixing one part vodka, two parts ginger beer, and adding some ice and lime juice. To improve the appeal of the drink, the two friends decided to serve the drink in copper mugs. A friend of Morgan’s had owned a copper factory with a large stock of copper mugs.  Image of a kicking mule was stamped on each mug to emphasize the name of the drink.

Morgan managed to involve stars like Woody Allen to promote the new cocktail. To market the new drink, names of famous celebrities who frequented the pub also were engraved on the copper mugs. Copper mugs keep the drink excellently cold became an important part of the drink.

The drink was named so because Americans perception about vodka was that it came from Russia (The general perception about Vodka at that time was that the drink is Russian) and its well known kick imparted by the intense flavor of the ginger beer contributed the mule part of the funny name.

Another story about the drink is as follows. In 1941 at Cock’n Bulls restaurant, Wes Price, the head bartender, had to unload the stock of Ginger beer, which was not selling.  To promote the business, a marketing campaign in which, a new drink, the Moscow Mule which was made with Smirnoff and was served in copper mugs. That campaign was a huge success and Moscow mule became a popular drink The Mug later became the trademark vessel for that  drink.

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