How It All Started...
In 1941, Sophie Berezinski was a woman on a mission. She had immigrated to the United States from Russia and was carrying a heavy burden: 2,000 solid copper mugs. Sophie’s father owned and operated a copper factory in Russia known as the Moscow Copper Co. Back in Russia, Sophie had created the design for the original copper mug that is now so famously linked to the Moscow Mule
cocktail. Her father ran the presses that stamped out
The one tool both Sophie and her father lacked was the slick skills of a salesman. Neither Sophie nor her father were able to sell the mugs in Russia, so the decision was made that Sophie and the mugs would journey to America. After all, it was well known that America was the land of opportunity. However, after some time, the mugs seemed destined for the scrap heap in America too. Sophie’s husband Max was tired of the copper mugs cluttering the house, and issued her an ultimatum: “Find a buyer for the mugs or I’m tossing them.”
Sophie couldn’t bear to see the solid copper mugs she had designed and manufactured with her father end up in a landfill. She began desperately seeking out a buyer, walking door to door in Hollywood in search of a restaurant or lounge owner interested in the mugs. During one of her long days in search of a buyer for the mugs, fate intervened at the famous Cock ‘n’ Bull pub on the Sunset Strip.
Sophie walked into the Cock ‘n’ Bull pub at just the right time, on the right day in 1941 to help create a cocktail America would fall in love with. John Martin had purchased the floundering Smirnoff Vodka distillery (yes, that Smirnoff ) in the 1930’s. Though he was successful as the head of G.F. Heublein & Brothers, a food and spirits importer that made A1 steak sauce popular, he wasn’t as fortunate with vodka.
Americans had no interest in vodka. Beer, whiskey, and other cocktails ruled the roost in America at this time. Jack Morgan was in a similar bind. As owner of the Cock ‘n’ Bull, he was trying to introduce America to his own brand of ginger beer. The two men were already good friends when they met at Morgan’s pub to drown their woes. As the duo lamented their lackluster sales and sought redemption for their respective products, in walked Sophie with her solid
As Sophie would tell the story, the trio spent hours developing a drink that would bring together the fizzy nature of the ginger beer, the punch of the vodka, and the cold properties of copper to create the next great cocktail. After a number of taste tests and a few failed concoctions, they stumbled upon a recipe for a cocktail that would solve all their problems. The Moscow Mule was born on that day in 1941. The perfect combination of vodka and ginger beer, housed in a solid copper mug that kept the drink cold and enhanced its flavor and aroma, resulting in a cocktail that America would fawn over for the next century and beyond.
Mrs. Sophie Berezinski with her Husband Max Berezinski
“If it wasn’t for Papa Max, Sophie would have been the first American Hoarder” - Mr. Resnick