|The Moscow Mule Cocktail|
In its original iteration and standard form today, the Moscow Mule is made up of one part lime juice, two parts vodka, and three parts ginger beer (although the amount of ginger beer sometimes ranges from two parts to four parts). The cocktail is typically served on the rocks, traditionally in a chilled copper cup but often in a highball glass; a lime wedge is the standard garnish to be found on the drink. The type of ginger beer used in the drink is usually a high-quality naturally brewed brand like Reed’s.
Invented in 1941 by two major industry players—at the location of the famous Chatham Hotel in Manhattan, New York City no less—the cocktail rode into the United States well before vodka was a common American drink. At the time, vodka, known colloquially as “white whiskey,” was an exotic, little-known, and unpopular drink in the United States; ginger was the standard and most popular clear spirit for Americans before the Moscow Mule came around. Vodka producers trying to penetrate the American liquor market, however, hoped to find a vehicle for enhancing their product’s appeal.
The idea for this drink was concocted by John G. Martin (a liquor and food distributor who worked with vodka producer Smirnoff, Co.) and Jack Morgan (a beer producer). Martin and Morgan hoped to find a way to broaden and enhance vodka’s appeal for American drinkers. According to legend, Martin and Morgan were sipping vodka with random chasers, combinations, and garnishes, when they happened upon the combination of the Russian spirit with ginger beer and a bit of lime. Having passed around the innovative combination to friends and colleagues, they found the drink to be a strong, delicious and seductive cocktail. Associating vodka with Russia, and observing the signature “mule-kick” of the ginger beer, the duo christened their creation the “Moscow Mule.”
|Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe|
Angie Picardo is a staff writer, financial analyst, and content manager at NerdWallet.com, a site dedicated to empowering consumers to save money and make smarter decisions about their personal finances, travel plans, or higher education.