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The Moscow Mule

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

The Moscow Mule is a refreshing, fiery cocktail served in its own signature copper mug. It's an alcoholic, ginger fizzy drink. After spending a few weeks at the European Bartender School in London, I learnt that the Moscow Mule cocktail was a US marketing technique used to improve the popularity of vodka in the 1930s and 40s, after it failed in the market previously due to the patriotic rule of whiskey and beer. What I found funny, however, is that as soon as vodka was re-introduced to America (after it's rather flaccid first impression), they rebranded it as "white whiskey". And after that, if you can believe it, vodka was accepted into American drinking culture.

Another rather funny, rather worrying point about the Moscow Mule and its mug, is that citric acid reacts with copper to produce a slightly toxic substance.

And the Moscow Mule contains lime juice.

Oh no.

But you may ask yourself, what kind of maniac would mess with this cocktail when death is on the line?!

I shall answer this for you: me. And many other people for that matter. Because fortunately, the inside of these copper mugs are coated with stainless steel, thus, saving us to drink another day! Upon further research, I have discovered that exposure to a small quantity of the chemical product isn't going to hurt you, but don't take my word for it.

I learnt a lot of truly awesome facts about alcohol from the bartender course at EBS, and if you're interested, go check out their programmes (which run all over the world) here.

Alright, now let's get on with the show.

For the ingredients, it's a simple one, most of which you probably have in your kitchen!

  1. Angostura bitters- 2 dashes. Not necessary as per se, but recommended. No ginger drink can go wrong with a little bit of angostura.

  2. Lime juice- 1/2 oz, 1 wedge for garnish. Adjust the amount of lime juice to suit your preferences. As long as you can fit the other ingredients into the mug, you should be fine. If you cannot find limes at your local supermarket, blame the COVID vit C health nuts.

  3. Ginger beer- to fill. "Can I use ginger ale?" you may ask. No. No you cannot. (ok fine you can if you're desperate). Ginger beer has more depth of flavour than the weaker counterpart. But in trying times, ginger ale will suffice. I am using Fever-Tree Ginger Beer which is (in my opinion) the best and most delicious. Plus it has a super cute bottle.

  4. Vodka- 1 1/2 oz. If you forget the vodka, you've just got a mule. When I brought this bottle out for the photograph, I almost dropped it on my foot. But oh well, at least it wasn't the knife!

Let's get ready to rumble with the weapons for today's cocktail.

  1. A jigger, to measure out the ingredients. This jigger measures in oz, but you can purchase them in mostly any reasonable metric unit for a liquid.

  2. The Copper Mug! Mine is from Willow and Everett. And would you believe it, they're entirely made out of copper. *panicked laughter* Ultimately, you don't need the copper mug in order to make this drink. It is perfectly legal (I think) to enjoy this drink in whichever vessel takes your fancy. It just looks more authentic in one of these.

  3. A bar spoon, for mixing up your ingredients. Also for twirling and looking cool. Or dropping, if you're me.

  4. A knife, for cutting the lime.

  5. Ice- enough to fill up your mug and keep your drink deliciously cold!

The Method for this, believe it or not, is mind-blowingly simple.

  1. Dash some angustura bitters into the mug.

  2. Fill the mug with ice cubes.

  3. Pour in your measured amounts of vodka and fresh lime juice.

  4. Top that drink up with Fever-Tree Ginger Beer, or *mumble grumble* ginger ale if you reeeeeaaaallly need to.

  5. Garnish with a cute little lime wedge.

  6. Enjoy this simple, but delicious ginger cocktail, with hopefully no chemical properties!

Thank you so much for reading my blog post! Let me know if you've had a Moscow Mule before, or if you might have one soon! If you fancy it, please consider leaving a like, subscription or a comment!

Remember, you don't have to drink if you don't want to!

Photography Credits: Oscar Chambers.

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