The 10 Best Moscow Mule Mugs
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Born in 1941, the Moscow Mule is a cocktail made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice or wedge of lime. If that sounds delicious to you, make sure you serve yours in one of these mugs. Made of copper, which offers good temperature conductivity, they'll keep your beverage cold down to the last drop. We've selected a few less-than-traditional options, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 30, 2020:
Although a 2017 warning by the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division declared that copper mugs represent a potential health hazard when used with acidic beverages, there is little evidence exploring how much an individual would need to ingest, or how long the liquid would need to directly touch the copper, for ill effects to occur. For this reason, some experts agree that drinking from unlined copper mugs poses no immediate danger. Users who feel worried about long-term exposure or copper build-up may wish to avoid them, however, and select instead a lined mug that does not allow the copper to touch the contents.
In the pure copper camp, we've kept the Willow & Everett Cups as a top choice. They do not have any type of lacquer or sealant, which means you'll get the most authentic drinking experience possible. This also means you'll need to be cautious about how you clean them; follow the included instructions carefully. Another fine choice is the Sertodo Copper Hand Hammered, a set that's more expensive but extremely sturdy and attractive. If you don't need a full set, they can be conveniently purchased singly. And for those who feel comfortable with copper as long as it has a food-safe lacquer, the Advanced Mixology Mule Science Gift Set is a good choice.
For those who want to avoid pure copper touching their drinks, we've added the Fiesta Multicolor and the Visol Kremlin. These both have stainless steel interiors that hold up well over the longterm. The former are not exactly traditional, but they're fun with a variety of dinnerware sets, while the latter is offered in a classic hammered copper design.
Mark & Graham Copper Mug The Mark & Graham Copper Mug is amply sized at nearly 5 inches tall, and it boasts a 100 percent copper exterior with a tin liner. Each can be monogrammed, making this a unique gift idea, although they are sold individually rather than in sets. markandgraham.com
Williams Sonoma Moscow Mule Gift Crate You'll need to provide your own alcohol, but the Williams Sonoma Moscow Mule Gift Crate has just about everything else you could need for creating this iconic drink at home, all nestled in a charming wooden crate. There's even a classic logo towel, which could be a great help if your fun gets a little out of hand. williams-sonoma.com
DiscountMugs 4-in-1 Gift Set With two mugs, a bar spoon, and a measuring jigger, the DiscountMugs 4-in-1 Gift Set is a customizable choice that's sure to impress the intended recipient. You can upload text, a logo, or artwork to ensure it meets your preferred specifications, whether that's for business or personal purposes. discountmugs.com
Why You Need A Moscow Mule Mug
Some mixologists say that copper seems to make fizzy drinks even fizzier, helping them maintain their bubbles more than glass can.
If you've been pouring your Moscow Mules into regular mugs or drinking cups, then you've been missing out on the full experience of this classic cocktail. There's a reason there is a special drinking vessel for every alcoholic beverage, like pint glasses for beer and martini glasses for martinis. In fact, within many of these categories of drinks, there are subcategories and very specific purposes behind the shape and design of the different glasses. Each of these dishwares is designed to bring out the particular flavors and qualities of each drink.
This Moscow Mule mug is made from copper, the properties of which allow it to stay cooler longer than glass, meaning a copper mug will actually keep your drink cold for longer. Unlike other materials that might transfer their warmer temperature to the liquid, copper is quickly chilled by cold fluids. The handle of the copper mug also helps to keep the drink chilled, since it keeps your hands off of the part of the mug that holds the liquid, stopping your hands from transferring their warmth to the drink.
Another important part of a Moscow Mule is the lime, and copper is known to interact with the fruit in a way that makes it taste better. Copper reduces the acidity of lime, helping it blend in better with the other ingredients in the drink. Copper can also enhance the flavor and aroma of the vodka. When vodka touches the copper walls of the mug, they begin to oxidize, bringing out the taste and scent of the alcohol. Some mixologists say that copper seems to make fizzy drinks even fizzier, helping them maintain their bubbles more than glass can. Naturally, that's an important perk when you're drinking a cocktail made with ginger beer. If you are a glutton for tradition and a lover of mixology history, then you simply cannot drink your Moscow Mule out of anything other than a copper mug.
How To Pick Out Your Perfect Moscow Mule Mug
If you tend to become a little less coordinated with every sip of your drink, make sure your mug has an easy-to-grip handle. Some have a unique ergonomic shape that lets your fingers get a secure grip on them. Another feature that can prevent you from spilling your precious cocktail is a wide, flat base. This will keep your drink stable when the vodka has you enthusiastically leaning over the table, telling stories. A rounded lip can also act as a spill buffer, so more of that precious liquid stays right where it should. If you like to sit down for long catch-up sessions with friends, without having to get up for a refill, get a generously-sized mug.
If you want the most authentic flavor out of your drink, look for a mug without a liner.
Those who take pride in the aesthetic of their bar, down to even the coasters and the napkins, may like some of the more decorative mugs. Some have beautiful embossing that makes them worthy of serving your most important guests. As you know, keeping this drink cold is an important part of the experience, so look for mugs that come with copper straws. These are superior to plastic straws since they won't transfer any heat to the liquid. You may also want a mug that comes with a copper shot glass to round out the set. Environmentally-conscious drinkers might like mugs made from recycled copper.
When it comes to durability, the thicker the mug, the better. You should also look for securely welded handles that won't become loose over time. A food-grade lacquer on the exterior can also prevent wear and tear. If you want the most authentic flavor out of your drink, look for a mug without a liner. This means that the only thing your beverage interacts with is the copper, bringing out that distinct Moscow Mule flavor.
The History Of Moscow Mules And Their Mugs
The Moscow Mule has a history as intriguing as its flavor. It begins with a man named John G. Martin. Martin was the head of Heublein & Brothers, an American producer and distributor of alcohol, who purchased Smirnoff Vodka in 1938. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for Moscow Mule lovers, Martin found himself with more of the product on his hands than he could push. A good friend of Martin's named Jack Morgan, the owner of the historic Cock 'N Bull bar in Los Angeles, California was having a similar problem. Morgan had created his own brand of ginger beer, but he couldn't quite find a way to sell the stuff. Wes Price, the head bartender at the Cock 'N Bull, decided to take the issue of the overstocked ginger beer and vodka into his own hands and create what would come to be known as the Moscow Mule.
A good friend of Martin's named Jack Morgan, the owner of the historic Cock 'N Bull bar in Los Angeles, California was having a similar problem.
The mug is just as important as the drink in this story. While Martin, Morgan, and Price were hanging out at the Cock 'N Bull, looking for ways to increase sales, an important person was on her way to their humble bar. Sophie Berezinski was the daughter of the owner of a copper company in Russia called Moscow Copper Co. In 1941, Berezinski immigrated to the United States with a suitcase full of copper mugs. She and her father had been struggling to sell their signature mugs in Russia, so Berezinski decided to try her sales skills in America.
Berezinski didn't have much luck selling the mugs in the United States at first. As legend has it, her husband became so tired of the product filling up their home that he demanded his wife find a home for them, or he'd send them to a landfill. Berezinski began desperately walking into every dining and drinking establishment in Los Angeles, trying to prevent her father's beloved product from ending up amongst the garbage. Fates collided when she walked into the Cock 'N Bull, where Martin, Morgan, and Price, were looking for one final touch to market their newly-concocted cocktail. Together, this foursome made a drink that would become one of the most popular drinks in Hollywood.