|Moscow mule as served at the Velvet Tango Room, Cleveland, Ohio, USA|
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Standard drinkware||copper cup|
|Commonly used ingredients|
|Preparation||Mix ingredients together and serve|
|Notes||The proportion of ginger beer varies from two to four parts|
A Moscow mule is a buck or mule cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime served in a copper mug. It became popular during the vodka craze in the United States during the 1950s. The name refers to the popular perception of vodka as a Russian product.
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The cocktail was invented in 1941 by John G. Martin of G.F. Heublein Brothers, Inc., an East Coast spirits and food distributor, and "Jack" Morgan, President of Cock 'n' Bull Products (which produced ginger beer) and proprietor of the Cock 'n' Bull restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles popular with celebrities. George Sinclair (2007) quotes from an article run in the New York Herald Tribune:
The mule was born in Manhattan but "stalled" on the West Coast for the duration. The birthplace of "Little Moscow" was in New York's Chatham Hotel. That was back in 1941 when the first carload of Jack Morgan's Cock 'n' Bull ginger beer was railing over the plains to give New Yorkers a happy surprise...
Three friends were in the Chatham bar, one John A. Morgan, known as Jack, president of Cock 'n' Bull Products and owner of the Hollywood Cock 'n' Bull Restaurant; one was John G. Martin, president of G.F. Heublein Brothers Inc. of Hartford, Conn., and the third was Rudolph Kunett, president of the Pierre Smirnoff, Heublein's vodka division. As Jack Morgan tells it, "We three were quaffing a slug, nibbling an hors d'oeuvre and shoving toward inventive genius". Martin and Kunett had their minds on their vodka and wondered what would happen if a two-ounce shot joined with Morgan's ginger beer and the squeeze of a lemon. Ice was ordered, lemons procured, mugs ushered in and the concoction put together. Cups were raised, the men counted five and down went the first taste. It was good. It lifted the spirit to adventure. Four or five later the mixture was christened the Moscow Mule...
As suggested above and evidenced by an article run in Insider Hollywood, the Moscow Mule was most popular in Los Angeles: "There is a new drink that is a craze in the movie colony now. It is called 'Moscow Mule'". (Gwynn, 27 December 1942).
The Nevada State Journal reinforced the mule's popularity in reporting: "Already the Mule is climbing up into the exclusive handful of most-popular mixed drinks" (12 October 1943). It became known as a favourite drink of Reno casino owner William F. Harrah. In his 1964 book Beat the Dealer, Edward O. Thorp did not name the Tahoe casino where he thought he had been poorly treated as a card counter. He said "I went to the bar and had a Moscow Mule", which was a subtle hint that the location was Harrah's Tahoe, due to Harrah's then well-known proclivity for the drink.
- Grimes, William (2001). Straight Up or On the Rocks: The Story of the American Cocktail. New York: North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-601-2.
- Steve Harvey (August 21, 1987). "Cock'n Bull Story Has a Sad Ending : Famous Sunset Strip Restaurant to Close Its Doors After 50 Years". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- JJ Goode, from Dave Wondrich (November 2005). "Moscow Mule". Epicurious. Retrieved 9 August 2012. "J.J. Goode explains the history behind this early vodka cocktail."
- Deborah Stoll (September 3, 2009). "The Moscow Mule: A Cocktail That's Still Kicking". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- "Oprah's Favorite Things 2012 - Mel & Rose Moscow Mule Kit – From Russia with Love". oprah.com. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-09-07. ""Everything you need to make a brilliant Moscow Mule, including my personal recipe. I suggest drinking at least two when you're at Yosemite trying to pitch a tent in the rain with Gayle King."—Oprah"