Cocktail of the Day: Moscow Mule

I’d read about this one for years, but had only gotten the chance to enjoy them fairly recently. The Moscow Mule kicked off the “white whiskey” (i.e., vodka) craze back in the 1950s, concocted at the Cock ‘n Bull Pub in Hollywood by people with lots of poorly-moving vodka, homemade ginger beer and a truckload of copper cups to move. It’s a perfect example of making lemonade from life’s lemons (or limes, in this case).

Now “traditionally” served in the specially made copper cups (which are really cool), it’s icyyummyspicy and very refreshing. Spectacular in summer, I find it just as tasty in January. Better yet, I’m able to enjoy them even more thanks to our friends Robb and Jaason, who gave us a wonderful set of vintage copper Moscow Mule mugs as a housewarming gift! (If you can’t find the copper mugs, a highball glass will certainly do.)

Don’t use plain old ginger ale for this recipe; that makes for a wimpy mule. Use real ginger beer, made with actual ginger juice or extract — the pepperier the better! We like Blenheim’s, but whatever brand you use shouldn’t be too sweet and should really smell and taste as much like fresh ginger as possible. In fact, when you open the bottle and smell it, it should make you sneeze.

Moscow Mule

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice (and NEVER Rose’s!)
4 ounces good, spicy ginger beer

In an 8-ounce copper mug, add ice and the ingredients in the
specified order. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.