The year 2020 might not have been the most pleasing and enjoyable year for a vast majority of the population, especially because of the noxious virus that has shut down everything. But events like Parasite winning the Oscar, Biden becoming the president, and the rollout of the COVID vaccine gave us a moment to cherish amidst the pandemic.
But among all this hustle, you might have missed that the year 2020 marked the 75th year anniversary of the creation of the Moscow Mule. That is right, 75 years ago, three friends while sitting in a pub decided to come up with a drink that was going to change the way people drank cocktails forever.
And it is not only the unique combination of ginger beer, freshly squeezed lime, and vodka that made Moscow Mule famous but it was the use of copper mugs and the popularity of the polaroid photographs as well that catapulted the popularity of Moscow Mule.
Just like the drink, even the history of the Moscow Mule is quite unique and fascinating and if you are holding the drink right now in your hands or planning to enjoy it with your friends this evening then let’s go back and dig the roots of the legends of copper mugs and Moscow Mule.
The use of copper
Using copper as a drinking container is not a new practice; in countries like India, drinking cups made of copper can be found in 2,000-year-old civilizations. Even in ancient Ireland, people used to drink from a copper goblet known as escra and the same can be said for the yogis of India.
The American colonists used to drink from copper mugs in 1645, and the most talked-about advantage of the copper mug was its generous three-cup capacity. The Moscow Mule, a cocktail with a kick that deserved its own copper mug, was not introduced in town until 1940.
Almost every cocktail you find in the market requires its own unique glass, such as martini and the highball glass, but the use of hammered Moscow Mule mugs is important in the case of the very popular cocktail.
The Drink’s Origin
In the beginning of the 1940s, John Martin was the president of an East Coast food and spirits importer known as G.F. Heublein & Brothers. This company was more popular for introducing A-1 Steak Sauce in America.
Martin was experimenting with different combinations to develop the next cocktail trend, and it was during this period that he bought Smirnoff, a modest vodka distill, for $14,000. But at that time, vodka was not that popular since most people were unaware of it.
Martin lamented that selling vodka was slowly becoming an arduous task for him while visiting his friend Jack Morgan, who used to own a Cock n Bull pub in Hollywood. Even Morgan discussed how difficult it is for him to sell the ginger beer.
Apart from these two persons, there was a third person (whose name has never been revealed) joined the grieving while griping about the low sales of his copper mugs. And this is where the brainstorming entered and the idea of whether all three can benefit from a joint venture or not struck their mind.
This is where the most successful marketing campaign in cocktail history took birth. Martin combined the three odd endeavors into one of the most popular drinks of the 1940s. Even the support of the Hollywood celebrities catapulted the popularity of hammered Moscow Mule mugs set of 2.
But one overlooked catalysts in the popularity of the Moscow Mule is the polaroid photographs. It was the same time when the polaroid photographs witnessed a proliferation the unique looking photos of hammered Moscow Mule mugs set of 2 sitting in an alluring copper mug spread like wildfire in the market.
The use of copper mugs
The use of copper mugs during the initial years of Moscow Mule launch wasn’t backed up by any scientific evidence and no one knew that the copper mug played any role in the taste, flavor or coldness of the cocktail.
The copper mug was just used for aesthetic purposes. It was only a few years after the launch that people would come to know the crucial role played by hammered Moscow Mule mugs in improving the taste and keeping the cocktail cold for long.
How Moscow Mule came into existence is as fascinating as the drink itself. The birth of this cocktail was not a result of a team of cocktail experts sitting in a lab experimenting with different flavors and combinations, it was just three people bemoaning about their difficulty in selling their product.
So, the next time you grab a Moscow Mule drink in hammered Moscow Mule mugs, you will be more thrilled as every sip will remind you of its fascinating history.