If you're a fan of cocktails, you are probably aware of the fact that many come in their own specific cups, mugs, or glasses. This isn't merely just for show – the shape and style of the container can have a significant effect on the way the drink is enjoyed.
Imagine drinking a margarita in a pint beer glass, or enjoying a glass of wine in a hurricane glass. Sounds strange, right? Indeed, the flavor profiles would be altered, in addition to being rather awkward in general. Because of this, it's always helpful to pay attention to how cocktails are intended to be served, and ensure that you are doing the same.
When going out to your favorite bar, you might notice people drinking from some nice-looking copper mugs. There's a good chance that it's a Moscow Mule inside.
What is a Moscow Mule?
Perhaps one of the most well-known cocktail/cup combinations is the Moscow Mule. These iconic cocktails are not only known for their refreshing flavor, but for the flashy and alluring copper mugs they are intended to be served in.
For those not familiar with Moscow Mules, here's a quick primer:
Back in the 1940's a man named John Martin purchased Smirnoff, a now well-recognized manufacturer of vodka and rum. One day while visiting his friend Jack Morgan, a bar owner in Hollywood, CA, Martin complained that he couldn't sell his vodka, as it really hadn't caught on in the United States yet. Morgan took the opportunity to bemoan the fact that he couldn't seem to sell his ginger beer, which he had spent a good amount of time developing on his own.
A female acquaintance of Morgan then chimed in that she couldn't seem to sell her copper mugs, which were actually quite popular for beverage use in countries like India and Ireland. The three parties then decided to combine all three of their products, and the Moscow Mule was born soon after. The cocktail surged in popularity during the 1950's and 60's thanks to a clever ad campaign combined with the general public's growing love for vodka.
How to Make a Moscow Mule
The recipe for a Moscow Mule is simple: In a copper mug, combine two ounces of vodka, four ounces of ginger beer, one ounce of lime juice, and garnish with a lime wedge.
There are other variations of the Moscow Mule cocktail that use gin and lemons, among other things.
The cocktail waned in popularity for a few decades after, but has recently made a comeback as the craft cocktail movement has taken off.
Why Copper Mugs?
For those who don't know, copper is an extremely efficient conductor of both hot and cold. Copper is able to change temperatures virtually instantly, which makes it a perfect material to use for mugs intended for cold beverage use.
Metallic surfaces already feel colder when you drink out of them, and copper mugs significantly enhance that feeling. Copper mugs don't insulate your cocktail, but rather encircle it with a surface that matches the temperature of what's inside. In this case, it's the ice-cold temperature of the beverage.
Moscow Mules are incredibly refreshing, and even more so on a hot day. The combination of the copper mug's coldness combined with the cocktail's snappy and refreshing taste is simply an unbeatable combination., and makes the drink what it is.
The copper mug instantly turns ice cold when the beverage is poured inside, and remains that way as long as it's in there. The mug provides a cold touch to your lips as you drink the cocktail, while also imparting a slight earthy tone from the copper itself.
Moscow Mules can obviously be consumed in any type of glass or mug, but the experience is dramatically hindered. Simply put, if you want the true Moscow Mule experience, a copper mug is a must.
Benefits Over Other Cups and Mugs
Glass, stainless steel, and plastic are often used for cocktail glasses and mugs, and rightfully so, as they are often well-suited for certain types. However, using one of these in place of a copper mug for cocktails like the Moscow Mule would yield poor results.
Copper mugs aren't only for Moscow Mules however. They are a perfectly suitable choice for any cold cocktail, keeping it just as cold as the Mule. Using copper mugs for beverages such as water and ice tea can provide you with an enhanced drinking experience as well.
In fact, copper is known to scientists and the medical community as having anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties which can help in first aid to speed up recovery times and heal wounds. Since copper is a hard mineral, it can easily find it's way via trace amounts into liquids that touch it.
Yes, drinking from copper mugs is actually good for your health.
Copper mugs are also extremely good at getting attention, and upping the overall aesthetic appeal of your cocktails. If you have a home bar setup, copper mugs are just as essential as any other barware.
Copper mugs, even when merely set out on a shelf or hung on your wall, are able to provide a rustic and classy aesthetic that harkens back to the glory days of speakeasys and old-fashioned bars. These mugs can make your kitchen and home shine, while also impressing your guests.
These mugs make a statement, and show that you care about the details involved in creating a memorable cocktail experience.
Ensure a Great Beverage Experience at Home
Copper mugs are a great addition to both your home bar and ordinary dishware setup. Stocking your kitchen and bar with copper mugs not only grabs attention, but ensures an optimal cocktail and beverage experience that is surprisingly beneficial to your health as well.