Though the origin of the Moscow Mule is disputed (like many cocktails), there is one particularly prevalent narrative that probably has some degree of truth to it. It starts in 1939 when a man named John G. Martin bought the U.S. rights to a struggling foreign vodka brand called Smirnoff. Vodka wasn’t popular in the States back then, and he soon found he couldn’t sell it. Americans just weren’t interested in the flavorless, colorless spirit.
According to one version of the story, sometime in the early 1940s, John started talking to L.A. bar owner Jack Morgan about his inability to move Smirnoff. Morgan was in a similar predicament with a load of housemade ginger beer in his inventory. Coincidentally, Sophie Berezinski, another businessperson present, was sitting on an excessive quantity of copper mugs. And from that fateful meeting, the Moscow Mule was born. Trendsetting Hollywood bar patrons quickly took a liking to the drink, helping to popularize it in American culture.
Regardless of how much of the story is true, the drink itself remains undeniably refreshing.
Classic Moscow Mule
Yield: 1 cocktail
2 ounces vodka
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Good quality ginger beer
Lime wedge, for garnish
1. Add vodka and lime juice to the mug.
2. Fill the mug with ice, and top it off with your ginger beer.
3. Add your lime wedge for garnish, and enjoy!