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Home / Recipes / The Story Behind the Moscow Mule (And a Recipe!)

The Story Behind the Moscow Mule (And a Recipe!)

May 04, 2019

We love these beautiful new copper mugs, which have a hammered texture and festive color that’s perfect for the holidays. To learn more about how they’re made, we turned to Alexia Chimenti, a designer on our Product Development team, who explained exactly what makes them so special.

“We were inspired by the shape of the mug, with its big bowl for swirling and chilling,” she said. “The hammered look ties back to our cookware, which is elevated and elegant.”

Our mugs are handcrafted by artisans in Turkey who carry on the ancient traditions of Anatolian metalworking. Each starts with solid copper discs, which are spun into the shape of the mug’s body and heated to give the copper its necessary softness. Then the bowls are hammered to make the metal stronger and create a beautiful pattern on the outside. After the handles are attached, our mugs are lined on the inside with tin and given a final polish for a bright, shiny finish.

Their design is traditional for serving iced cocktails, specifically the Moscow Mule, a blend of vodka, ginger beer and lime. As the legend goes, the Moscow Mule dates back to the 1940s, when vodka and ginger beer distributors were both having trouble selling their products. They teamed up by creating this now-classic combination, which became an instant hit at Hollywood’s Cock n’ Bull pub. Another friend with a copper factory thought to serve the drinks in copper mugs on the rocks — ideal, since the temperature conductivity of copper makes the drink feel extra chilly.

With classic cocktails enjoying a comeback, there’s never been a better time to mix a refreshing Moscow Mule. Try our recipe below, and raise a mug to the inventors of the mule!

Moscow Mule

This recipe comes from Schiller's Liquor Bar in New York City. When making a chilled drink like this one, place the mugs in the freezer for about 2 hours before pouring in the cocktail.

1 1/2 fl. oz. (45 ml) vodka

Splash of fresh lime juice

Splash of simple syrup

Ice as needed

4 fl. oz. (125 ml) ginger beer

Lime wedge for garnish

Combine the vodka, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well for 15 to 20 seconds, and strain into an ice-filled copper mug or Collins glass. Top with the ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge. Serves 1.

Find more classic and artisanal cocktails in the new book Schiller’s Liquor Bar Cocktail Collection, by Keith McNally.