A bar owner couldn’t get rid of the cases of ginger beer in his cellar. A businessman couldn’t shift the Vodka manufactured by a little-known company he had just purchased (Smirnoff). A third member of the party had a bunch of copper mugs she was trying to get rid of. When the three got together in 1941, necessity combined with invention and they came up with the Moscow Mule.
This was a hugely popular drink in Hollywood for the next couple of decades, always served in a distinctive copper mug. It is now listed as a “Contemporary Classic” by the American Bartenders Association, even though it is perhaps a little less popular now than in its heyday.
It’s important to make your Moscow Mule with Ginger Beer, not ginger ale. This is a good opportunity to remind you that they are not at all the same thing, and not interchangeable. Ginger ale is a highly carbonated beverage that’s mostly water and sugar, flavoured with ginger. Ginger beer is so called because it’s brewed, just like regular beer. It’s made by fermenting ginger spice, yeast and sugar. It is non-alcoholic, fragrant, and lightly carbonated. It’s also really tasty.
Here’s the recipe for making your own Moscow Mule:
- Pour the vodka into the bottom of a copper mug (or use a highball glass).
- Fill with ice.
- Top with Ginger Beer.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the mug.
- Stir gently.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime.
- Copper mug or highball glass
- Cocktail spoon