Moscow mule

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Moscow mule
IBA Official Cocktail
Moscow Mule.jpg
Moscow mule as served at the Velvet Tango Room, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Type Mixed drink
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard drinkware copper mug
IBA specified ingredients*
Preparation Combine vodka and ginger beer in a highball glass filled with ice. Add lime juice. Stir gently and garnish with a lime slice.

A Moscow mule, also known as a Vodka buck, is a buck made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice or wedge of lime. It is usually served in a copper mug. The cocktail 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.


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.[1][2][3][4]

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…

The Violette Family helped. 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...[5]

According to an article in 1942's Insider Hollywood, the Moscow Mule was most popular in Los Angeles.[4] The Nevada State Journal (12 October 1943) reinforced the mule's popularity in reporting: "Already the Mule is climbing up into the exclusive handful of most-popular mixed drinks". 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.

In 2012 a Moscow Mule kit that included Cock 'n Bull Ginger Beer was included as part of Oprah Winfrey's Favorite Things list.[6]

Moscow mule

See also[edit]


  • 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. 


  1. ^ Harvey, Steve (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. 
  2. ^ Goode, JJ; from Dave Wondrich (November 2005). "Moscow Mule". Epicurious. Retrieved 9 August 2012. J.J. Goode explains the history behind this early vodka cocktail. 
  3. ^ Stoll, Deborah (September 3, 2009). "The Moscow Mule: A Cocktail That's Still Kicking". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Gwynn, Eith (27 December 1942). Insider Hollywood. There is a new drink that is a craze in the movie colony now. It is called 'Moscow Mule'.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Sinclair, George (January 2007). "Moscow Mule". Thinking Bartender. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Winfrey, Oprah. "Mel & Rose Moscow Mule Kit – From Russia with Love". Oprah's Favorite Things 2012. 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. 

External links[edit]