Cheers Comrade: KINGS History of Classic Cocktails Presents… Moscow Mule
Moscow, 1985: As KGB agents stalk the streets in search of American spies, the proletariat huddles in dank, dark basements, trying to avoid detection. In open defiance of Gorbachev’s sukhoy zakon, they quietly sip a refreshing, spicy elixir that combines their beloved national spirit vodka with crisp ginger beer and a squirt of line as they plot the impending fall of the Wall...
...wait, nevermind, that was an episode of The Americans. Our bad.
The real history of the Moscow Mule - that refreshing and spicy slice of perestroika courtesy of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice - may not be so dramatic, but is still a fascinating tale.
In spite of it’s moniker, the Mule is actually an American invention: Inspired by the traditional “buck” style of cocktail that dates back to the invention of ginger-infused drinks, the Mule was born in the early ‘40s, either in New York City or Los Angeles, depending on the source. The mix of lime, ginger beer and vodka initially resembled the now forgotten “Mamie Taylor,” a popular drink during prohibition that used scotch whisky in place of vodka in the recipe.
In one of the more detailed and compelling origin stories of the Russian-styled refreshment, the Mule was first served at the Hollywood pub Cock ‘n’ Bull in 1941. Owner of the Cock ‘n’ Bull Jack A. Morgan has just imported a vast amount of ginger beer, looking to give his British expat patrons a taste of home. Around the same time Morgan, partially spurred by a friendship and business partnership with John G. Martin, owner of Smirnoff, took it upon himself to try to turn his patrons on to vodka. Unfortunately for Morgan, he overestimated his patron’s thirst for ginger beer and the popularity of vodka in the U.S. at the time.
Looking to jumpstart sales and kill two birds with one stone, Morgan and his bartenders concocted the Moscow Mule, serving it in the distinctive - and now iconic - copper mug that (surprise surprise) Morgan had an excess of due to another ill-considered deal (the guy just couldn’t help himself). It didn’t hurt that the Mule was easy to make: Just three ingredients - vodka, ginger beer and lime - used in almost equal proportions, allowing it to be assembled quickly. The simple, refreshing cocktail and it’s quaint presentation quickly became the talk of Tinseltown.
The Moscow Mule is featured prominently on KINGS’ menu of crafty, handmade cocktails. KINGS has taken inspiration from the classic preparation while giving it our own spin in the form of premium ingredients: Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Gosling’s Ginger Beer, fresh lime, finished with a dash of aromatic bitters. The Moscow Mule is a crowd pleaser of the highest caliber, delivering incredible refreshment and giving thirsty guests a reason to raise a perspiring copper mug and toast zazdarovje - to health!