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published time By Saylee published time 15 Nov, 2018 Share image 0 Shares

There always lies an interesting story behind every cocktail. And the Moscow Mule, no doubt, has one that will leave you enthralled.

A great entry-level drink, the Moscow Mule is made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and garnished with a slice of lime.

Known for its refreshing taste, it’s perfect for all seasons and served in the classic copper mug.

Despite its Russian-inspired name, the Moscow Mule was concocted in the Cock ‘N’ Bull pub in Hollywood, CA, in 1941.

But, that's not the only interesting thing about it. Here are some facts that you need to know about this classic American favourite.

The Legend Of The Moscow Mule

Post Russian Revolution, Smirnoff Vodka made the move to America. John Martin, head of the Heublein Company, bought Smirnoff from Russian expat Rudolph Kunett for just $14,000. Although Martin tried to push the brand, without much luck, he struck gold on meeting Jack Morgan, the owner of Cock ‘N’ Bull.

The Legend Of The Moscow Mule

Morgan had an excess of his home-made ginger beer which was then combined with Martin’s vodka and a squeeze of lemon to create The Moscow Mule! Smirnoff still remains the vodka of choice for several years after the drink’s inception.

The cocktail was originally named the Smirnoff Mule, after the vodka that was used at its base, but it became more widely known as the Moscow Mule, likely after the vodka’s Russian origin.

One of the most successful marketing campaigns in cocktail history, the Smirnoff Mule magazine ads and posters across the nation showed celebrities Woody Allen, Monique Van Vooren, Julie Newmar, "Killer" Joe Piro, and Dolores Hawkins enjoying this tasty drink.

The story behind the copper mugs is an even more interesting one.

A Russian immigrant had 2,000 copper mugs that desperately needed to be sold. She went to every bar trying to find a taker and thought she would have to just trash them until the Cock N’ Bull decided that a copper mug was perfect for their new signature drink.

Martin asked bartenders to pose with a specialty copper mug and a bottle of Smirnoff vodka, and took a Polaroid picture of them. He took two photos, leaving one with the bartender for display. The other photo would be put into a collection and used as proof to the next bar Martin visited of the popularity of the Moscow mule.

In 1965, the drink got its own jingle with Joe Piro dancing to a song by Skitch Henderson and Carmen McRae. The words for it went something like, “Stand stubborn/Stop sudden/Look cool. Turn it on/Take it off/The Smirnoff Mule."

Wish to try your hand at making the classic Smirnoff concoction? Here’s a recipe for you! But, don’t forget to drink responsibly.

Credits:, martinturnbull, shopify, supercall, sellmeyesteryear, artisansanvil, cocktailphotographer