Moscow Mule

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The Moscow Mule is a classic cocktail that in recent years has reached a new fame, thanks to the renewed interest in ginger, the main element of this cocktail. Although the name may indicate the opposite, the Moscow Mule was not invented in Moscow or in Russia and it is called in this way only because it contains vodka, typical of the country.

According to the legend says, it was invented in 1941 in New York by two entrepreneurs who, in economic difficulties, decided to combine their two drinks to give life to an original cocktail: specifically, the union was between the Smirnoff vodka, which at that time could not break through the hearts of the Americans, and a ginger beer, a ginger drink that could hardly take off. To balance the two ingredients, the two decided to add lime juice.

It was not only the cocktail to be created at that time, it is said, but also the way to consume it: it was in fact served for the very first time in copper cups with a donkey printed on it, owned by an entrepreneur who had to dispose of a large number of cups, and since then took the name of Moscow Mule.

The most credited and truthful version related to the birth of this cocktail, however, credits the invention to Wes Price, bartender of the Cock’n Bull of Los Angeles, which invented it to finish some open products that would have gone bad in a short time.

Copper was one of the most brilliant intuitions and allowed the Moscow Mule to spread all over the world: in addition to holding well the temperature allowing the drink not to heat up, the contact with the lime releases a special flavor that goes well with the rest of the ingredients.

Now let’s have a look at the original recipe of the Moscow Mule, the one recognized by the IBA worldwide:

Ingredients for a person

    • 4,5 cl (1 1/2 oz) Vodka
    • 12 cl (4 oz ) Ginger Beer
    • 0,5 cl (1/4 oz) Fresh Lime Juice
    • 1 Slice of lime
    • Ice Cubes


  1. Fill a cold tall glass (highball) or a copper mug with ice;
  2. Pour the vodka then the ginger beer;
  3. Add the lime juice and mix everything well;
  4. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Moscow Mule Variations

  • The most accredited variation of the Moscow Mule is the London Mule, which is created by replacing the vodka with the gin;
  • The Mexican Burro replaces vodka with tequila;
  • The Kentucky Mule is made with bourbon instead of vodka;
  • The Gin Gin Mule is based on gin instead of vodka;
  • You can change the original recipe (which will no longer be the one approved by the IBA), adding fruit or vegetables to the mix. Choose red fruits, cucumber, apples, peaches to create a Moscow Mule different from the original but certainly delicious

What you need for a perfect Moscow Mule

Full disclaimer

According to some research, copper should not be used in contact with food, while according to others, to have effects on our body we should use copper so much that we don’t actually have enough time in life. The choice whether or not to use copper for the Moscow Mule is entirely personal, but certainly, the copper cups have made history when it comes to this cocktail.

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Categories: Cocktail recipes, Drinks & Cocktails, International Recipes, Recipes
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina
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