Moscow Mule

Difford's Guide
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Garnish:

Lime slice, mint sprigs bouquet & straw

How to make:

POUR first 3 ingredients into mug/glass and stir. Two-thirds fill vessel with cubed ice. TOP with ginger beer and crown with crushed ice.

2 fl oz Ketel One Vodka
1/2 fl oz Lime juice (freshly squeezed)
1/3 fl oz Sugar syrup (65.0°brix, 2 sugar to 1 water rich syrup)
3 fl oz Thomas Henry Ginger Beer
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Review:

"The vodka drink with a kick" is simply vodka and ginger beer with a squeeze of lime served over ice. This drink's all-important enlivening spice is provided by the ginger beer so pick your brand wisely.

History:

Traditionally served in a copper mug. The Moscow Mule was created in 1941 - 1946 (the date and place of creation are disputed).

John G. Martin had recently (in 1939) acquired the rights to Smirnoff vodka for Heublein, a small Connecticut-based liquor and food distributor. Meanwhile, Jack Morgan, a friend of his and owner of Hollywood's famous British pub, the Cock'n'Bull Saloon on Sunset Strip, was trying to launch his own brand of ginger beer but sales were not going well.

Legend has it that the two men met at New York City's Chatham Bar and hit on the idea of mixing Martin's vodka with Morgan's ginger beer and adding a squeeze of lime (perhaps inspired by the Cuba Libre) to create the Moscow Mule.

Others, most notably Eric Felton in a 2007 article in the Wall Street Journal, say the drink was invented back in Hollywood at the Cock 'n' Bull by Wes Price, it's head bartender. Price is said to have created the drink in an attempt to clear an overstock of ginger beer from the pub's basement. He served the new drink to actor Broderick Crawford and so the drink caught on from there.

Wes Price, apparently resigned from the Cock 'n' Bull in 1953 and is quoted as saying "I wasn't truly appreciated. I never got an extra cent for my invention".

What is sure is that the combination of vodka and ginger beer helped both Morgan and Martin shift their products but the cocktail's success is greatly due to its being served in a copper mug specially engraved with a kicking mule. This initiative was driven by a girlfriend of Morgan's who'd recently inherited a copper factory that made the previously poorly selling copper mugs. The success of the Moscow Mule was most fortuitous for all three friends.

By 1947, when Edwin H. Land invented the Polaroid Land Camera, the Moscow Mule was already established on the drinks menus of numerous bars. Martin bought himself one of the instant cameras and went from bar to bar photographing bartenders holding a bottle Smirnoff Vodka in one hand and a copper mule mug in the other. He gave one photograph to the bartender and used a second to show the next neighbouring bar what they were missing out on. The Moscow Mule and the use of the Polaroid Camera was a stroke of marketing genius.

Nutrition:

One serving of Moscow Mule contains 207 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.5 standard drinks
  • 11.62% alc./vol. (23.24° proof)
  • 20.3 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
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