Proper Presentation

The Moscow Mule is served in a copper cup.

by Jan Walsh     Photography by Beau Gustafson

The Moscow Mule is an all-American cocktail. This vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice mixture is properly presented at 41st Street Pub and Aircraft Sales on the rocks in a copper mug. The heat of the ginger warms the palate. The lime adds acidity, and the vodka neutralizes this refreshing concoction.

The copper not only enhances the flavors but also keeps the drink cold—as one can see by the condensation on the outside of the cup. The mugs are sold to regulars at the pub, with their initials or names engraved on the side. And the mugs are kept hanging above the bar until their next visit, unless they choose to take the empty mug home.

So what’s with the name? The story of the Moscow Mule may just be a tale. No one knows for certain. But the story begins when a Russian, Rudolph Kunett, sold the Smirnoff brand to John Martin, an East Coast food and spirits distributor in 1939. A few years later, in 1941 Martin and “Jack” Morgan, president of Cock ‘N Bull Products—which produced ginger beer—were having drinks together in New York, when they decided to mix vodka with a two-ounce shot of Morgan’s ginger beer and a squeeze of lime. And the rest is history.

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