As classic cocktails go, this combination of Smirnoff vodka, ginger beer and lime juice is delicious and refreshing. Here’s how to make the perfect Moscow Mule.
It’s one of the simplest cocktails in the world, yet the effortlessness of creating it doesn’t mean it lacks depth. Icy cold, delicious and refreshing with a spicy edge from the ginger beer, bite from the vodka and a pleasing citrus tang from fresh lime juice, the Moscow Mule cocktail is a guaranteed party starter for springtime.
Learn how to make the perfect Moscow Mule, the traditional way.
The origin story of the Moscow Mule, which seems largely apocryphal, goes something like this: Back in the 1930s, an American businessman from Connecticut named John G. Martin obtained the rights to sell Smirnoff vodka. But, Americans had little use for vodka then, and sales were slow.
Meanwhile, over on the West Coast, Jack Morgan, owner of the Cock ’n’ Bull bar in Los Angeles, had created and marketed his own brand of ginger beer. This too, wasn’t selling, and cases were piling up in his cellar. The final character in our tale is a Russian woman called Sophie Berezinski. She was the daughter of a copper factory owner. She had designed a mug for her father’s company, which he had duly put into production — but alas, these vessels weren’t selling either. She travelled to America, the Land of Opportunity, with 2000 copper mugs to move.
Through some fortuitous circumstance, the three found themselves together at Cock ’n’ Bull bar and decided to join forces. Bartender Wes Price combined the two drinks, and added a little fresh lime juice in a chilled copper mug (if you’re wondering, is the copper mug a critical component of a Moscow Mule, it’s probably not, but copper gives the drink an extra-cold sensation), and voilá! A legend was born.
The cocktail’s name refers to the “buck” family — ie cocktails made with ginger ale or ginger beer — and the spirit’s country of origin.
Once you’ve mastered the original recipe, you can experiment away. Here’s a spicy twist on the classic, where the vodka-ginger beer combination is replaced with tequila.
Fancy a fruity Moscow Mule? This cocktail recipe takes the usual Moscow Mule ingredients and elevates it with raspberry flavours.
There you have it. The next time someone asks what’s the recipe for your favorite brunch cocktail, you can give them not one but three delicious and refreshing options.