The Original Moscow Mule Recipe
Updated March 2023
Where do the best recipes come from? The source. There's much to be said for using traditional tools to craft a timeless classic--especially in the mixed-drink realm.
We're descendants of the woman who made the actual original Moscow Mule mug. Grandma Sophie knew what she was doing when she decided to create a legacy engraved in copper (and lime, vodka, and ginger beer).
How Copper Mugs Became the Icon of the Moscow Mule
Sophie Berezinski had immigrated to the US from Russia in hopes of selling her family-made copper mugs. Having little success at sales (but meeting her husband, Max) in New York, she headed west.
The stars aligned at the Cock 'n Bull pub on Sunset Blvd, where bar owner Jack Morgan and Jack Martin were working out their business dilemmas. Jack Morgan was trying to sell his homemade ginger beer--a favorite in England but hard to brew demand for in the US. Jack Martin had purchased American rights to the Smirnoff distillery. Martin was having an equally difficult time selling vodka in a post-war America.
In walks Sophie with her handcrafted copper mugs, and the three get to the task of combining their products--and a squeeze of lime--to create one of the most iconic classic cocktails. Ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice: the Moscow Mule cocktail is perfect in its simplicity.
However, a Moscow Mule is not complete without an original Moscow Mule copper mug. The copper uplifts the carbonation and delights the senses with a cool touch to match the cocktail within.
Carrying the Moscow Mule Cocktail Tradition in Copper Mugs
We take our responsibility to carry on Sophie's legacy seriously, so you'll find only the best materials and craftsmanship in our mugs and our recipe recommendations.
...if it was good enough for Great-Grandma Sophie, it's good enough for us.
Grab your notepad, some ginger beer, vodka, lime, and a couple of copper mugs, and get ready to enter the tradition of making the perfect Moscow Mule. After you've got the basics, reward yourself with an original Moscow Mule mug. You deserve it.
The perfect Moscow Mule is served in an authentic set of four original Moscow Mule mugs with the specialty collectors box. The four mugs arrive nestled inside a solid pine collectors box with a latch lid to keep them pristine for years to come.
‘MULEHEAD’ MOSCOW MULE RECIPE BOOK
Bartenders from around the world share 75 recipes to elevate your cocktail repertoire. Handsomely printed in hardcover with a soft-touch copper foil embossed illustration on the cover, Mulehead celebrates the art of the Moscow Mule with recipes crafted by bartenders from around the world.
The Recipe: It all starts with vodka and lime juice
In copper mugs, of course.
Part of the elegance of this drink is its simplicity. No shaker, muddler, or strainer is required--just a copper mug, ice, and three ingredients.
First, you'll toss some ice cubes in the mug. Starting with ice will kickstart the cooling of your copper vessel and improve the flavor distribution of the vodka and lime juice.
Second, measure a 2oz shot of vodka and pour it in, coating the ice cubes. Next is a fourth of an ounce of lime juice, fresh-squeezed or bottled, mingled with the vodka and ice. Take a moment to appreciate the satisfying cracks of the different temperatures equalizing and reverberating off of the copper barrel.
Keep Your Friends Close and Your Ginger Beer Closer
When it comes to the Moscow Mule cocktail, your choice of ginger beer is second in importance to having copper mugs.
Six ounces of ginger beer are needed for the perfect Moscow Mule, and because it's a significantly greater proportion than the other ingredients you'll want the best brand (keep reading for our curated selection).
Don't be afraid of fizz, pour your ginger beer into the mix with some flair. The carbonation of the Moscow Mule cocktail will be uplifted by the copper mug, increasing the energetic aroma of your drink.
Stir Up, Sip Up. Our Favorite Moscow Mule Recipe
A Moscow Mule can achieve greatness regardless of ingredient choice.
You can deliver a popping Moscow Mule with inexpensive, bottled lime juice and with fresh-squeezed limes nurtured by the Key West sun. That said, there's a difference between good and great, and the devil is in the details (per the usual).
Just like ginger beer is the spice of the Moscow Mule, variety is the spice of life. Your family members and bar attendees may have unique tastes that require you to push (or close) the envelope. Do it. Mixed drinks are only fun as long as you're mixing it up.
Without further ado, we present our recommended starting points for the best Moscow Mule cocktail.
Lime Juice: Fresh is Best
But it's not the only way.
There have been many trials and tests for the best "freshness" of limes, and a general rule is to let your squeezed lime juice sit for a couple of hours if possible. Whether exposure to oxygen or sourness at being neglected, lime juice that's been sitting tends to have some extra citrusy zing to it.
Wait too long, though, and you'll end up with some less-than-desirable tasting notes...if you follow.
If you don't have a productive lime supply outside your door and never know when the Moscow Mule Mood will strike, we recommend Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice. It's been heralded as the next best thing to fresh lime juice even in recipes like the ever-touchy Key Lime Pie.
Top Marks for Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
Ginger beer happens to be one of the more essential yet modifiable elements of the Moscow Mule.
Some palettes prefer spicy ginger beer, but some are pleased by sweeter tones--just remember to get ginger beer and not ginger ale (unless you're making a variation of the Moscow Mule, like these<link>).
Many fantastic ginger beers exist, but few express Fever-Tree's cultured, distinguished tasting combination. Their specialists have traveled the globe seeking the best ginger combination for a balanced and bright, yet bold and spicy ginger beer.
Plus, it's available at most grocery stores. Grab a Fever-Tree ginger beer for your Moscow Mule and see for yourself what hard work and intelligent blending taste like. Some other well-respected ginger beer brands include Bundaberg ginger beer and Q ginger beer.
THE PERFECT MOSCOW MULE RECIPE
Now that you've got an idea of what makes the perfect Moscow Mule, here's how you put it all together for this classic cocktail.
MOSCOW MULE INGREDIENTS:
- 2 ounces vodka
- 6 ounces ginger beer (or our Moscow Mule Ginger Syrup)
- 1/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
- Lime garnish
- Place ice into Moscow Copper Co. mug and pour in vodka.
- Squeeze in lime juice and top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with lime wedge and enjoy.
The Kentucky MuleThe Kentucky Mule follows the same recipe as the Moscow Mule, a ginger beer cocktail with lime--but with bourbon instead of vodka. Customize it a step further by tossing on a sprig of mint for garnish.
The Gin-Gin Mule
Hold on to that mint if you're going from a Kentucky Mule to the Gin-Gin Mule.
The Gin-Gin, as its name implies, adds gin to the ginger beer for a fresh take on the classic Moscow Mule. You'll use the same liquor ratio with a little bit more lime juice (3/4 ounce) and toss in one ounce of simple syrup.
Don't hold the mint for too long, the Gin-Gin Mule requires that you muddle about 6 leaves with the simple syrup and lime juice--just save a sprig for the end.
While it's slightly more complicated than the Moscow Mule, the Gin-Gin just might be the fresh take you've needed.
The Dark 'n Stormy
Tired of chilly tones implied by the Moscow Mule but want something more tropical than the Kentucky Mule? Try a Dark 'n Stormy.
The Dark 'n Stormy calls for Caribbean rum in lieu of vodka, signaling a 100% chance of island vibes.
As the temperature rises, keep your sips cooled down in an original copper mug. Our 100% copper mugs are thermally conductive to keep your mug and drink at the same, cool temperature.
(Check out other tasty variations here)
Join the Moscow Mule Copper Mugs Tradition
Ready to join the tradition? There's no time like the present to honor the past.
The perfect Moscow Mule cocktail is simply incomplete without being served in a copper mug. There is truly no better vessel for the experience of cold ginger beer combined with sparkly vodka and lime.
Anyone can make the Moscow Mule cocktail. The ingredients for it can be found nearly anywhere. The original Moscow Mule Copper mug, though, can be harder to find. But you made it here, home of the original copper mugs, so buy yourself or your friends a set to complete your perfect Moscow Mule.
Have we been tempted to keep the secret of the original copper mugs to ourselves? Sure. But that's not what Great-Grandma Sophie Berezinski did, and we want to share her craftsmanship and legacy.
(Check out some of our favorite vodkas to try in your Moscow Mule)
Got copper mugs for a Christmas present. Can’t wait to try them out.