Master The Classics: Moscow Mule



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The Moscow Mule. One of the most well known of drinks. On a given day I find myself knocking out more of these than anything else. When properly made this refreshing cocktail is a thing of beauty.

The Moscow Mule is said to have been invented at Los Angeles’ Cock and Bull bar on Sunset Boulevard somewhere around 1941. The story goes that John G. Martin an executive at the Heublein drinks company and Jack Morgan owner of the Cock and Bull Bar invented the drink together. Subsequently, reliable information has come to light that surprise surprise it was really the bartender Wes Price who probably actually invented the drink. I have been working in bars for many years and I have yet to meet any owner who has ever invented anything. And of course a mareting exec will take credit too! We also find out from Ted Haigh in his book “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails” that Jack Morgan’s girlfriend owned a company which made copper products, so it was she who probably supplied the copper mug to the equation.

A note on this recipe because I’m sure most of you are going to ask about this in some respect. Ginger Syrup and Soda Water is not a viable replacement for good Ginger Beer. I use Fever Tree more often than not but East Imperial makes good ginger beer and so does Q. If you want to commit yourself to making Ginger Beer let me know how it goes. I have heard some bartenders in the past have made good home made versions, I haven’t run into any that I like as much as commercially available Ginger Beers but I will at some point I will probably make a video on it. Not sure when though. Ok I think that’s it! Enjoy the drink!

Here’s Links to what I use in the video:
Barfly Graduated Jigger: https://amzn.to/2r3slt2
Moscow Mule Mugs: https://amzn.to/2OXiEGf

Here’s a link to Ted Haigh’s book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: https://amzn.to/2PQedCj

If you’re interested in the shirts we started making here’s a link:
https://teespring.com/stores/the-educated-barfly
You can also find them linked under each video too 🙂

Here are the specs:

2oz (60ml) Vodka
.75oz (22.5ml) Lime Juice
Top Ginger Beer of your Choice
Lime Wheel Garnish

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22 Responses

  1. gabriel medina says:

    Could you do a video on how you engage with your guests to find out what they would like to drink.
    For example If they ask me what’s good here I usually follow up with well do you like boozy cocktails maybe I can make you something sweet or fruity. I feel like it could use work so just reaching out for suggestion/pointers.

  2. Brandon Pebler says:

    Why isn't he using cock n bull Ginger beer. Not that garbage fever tree

  3. Drunken Master II says:

    that mug look really good, I don't know why I'm sticking on that. Anyway like all the historical informations a lot.

  4. Pete Murray says:

    Great bartending tips. I am a subscriber. But I "do" have a problem with the shirt. If you left off the the word "do" it would have been easier to read and I think grammatically correct. Or just add another "do" then you would have assholes and "do do's" : )

  5. Driving With Jake says:

    Very nice, I normally make myself this but with rum for a dark and stormy as rum is better than Vodka at least for myself after drinking far to much potato juice in my young years of life.

  6. secondakira says:

    It should be noted that you should use a copper mug with a different metal on the inside, as the low pH of the Moscow Mule can cause copper to dissolve into the drink when it has direct contact.

  7. Bruno Hebert says:

    There are tons of variants to this drink, but my favorite (that I tried) is the Manuka Mule that I had in Japan. Its exactly the same drink but with Manuka Honey flavored vodka.
    The one I know is from 42 Below, a distillery in New Zealand and it's amazing.
    Unfortunately it's a bit hard to find.. especially here in the US, but if you get the chance please do try it, you won't regret it.

  8. Robert McMahan says:

    I also really like using copper mugs for these drinks. Its a similar experience to using a silver cup for a mint julep and the frost on the outside makes a nice visual effect. That being said the other commenters are correct, the higher the thermal conductivity of your cup, the faster it will allow your drink to warm up.

  9. Laura M says:

    Copper mug is awesome with a dark and stormy too

  10. karlinchina says:

    Another option for the garnish is a slice of ginger. Another thing I've seen at a bar, which I've started doing myself is adding some Ang bitters and simple syrup (or ginger syrup). My favorite riff is replacing the lime juice with fresh passion fruit juice.

  11. Chic Knave says:

    I love me a Moscow Mule.

    Tell me, Mr. Barfly, what's your favorite vokda?

    For the price and clarity, I always go with Russian Standard. Hasn't let me down and I'm able to drink it straight . . . At room temperature.

    I've had the gold and platinum but I can't tell too big of a difference (especially not if I'm blindfolded) and they've been chilled, so I just always recommend the Russian Standard base.

  12. Santosh Palaniswamy says:

    Usually use crushed ice and give it a stir so you dont just get a hit of ginger beer on ur first sip but this works too. I love the cucumber and mint ideas posted in the comments as well. Will try that

  13. Matthew Cota says:

    Non related, where do you get you bottles of Havana Club. I'm always at the mercy of friends going out of country to get me a bottle. Does someone in the L.A. area sell them?

  14. TheMindpack says:

    Another question or controversy about the copper mug is that it oxides. I was wondering if using ingredients with a low pH like lime or lemon juice would dissolve the oxide and therefore make you ingest a possible toxic compound.

  15. Staas Wolter says:

    First time i had this was before i had my coffee and wow was it strong, I just wanted to sleep lol. Very nice though.

  16. Chris Yoo says:

    Thanks for making this video! Favorite drink by far. I've seen information recommending a nickel or stainless steel walled copper mug since copper will react to the acids in the drink. What's your experience with this?

  17. K K says:

    I’ve added jalapeños and a sprig of mint to the equation on occasion with positive results. Keep on keeping on!

  18. CNHphoto says:

    What do you think about the claims that say Moscow Mules taste better in copper mugs?

  19. Leonardo Sanini says:

    Why there is no need to stir this one?
    Awesome video again, was waiting for this one. Here in Brazil, ppl are getting used to drink the mule with a homemade syrup foam made in a siphon (and since we dont have ginger beer here, what is also being done to replace it is using a ginger syrup + club soda)

  20. Mariyan Say says:

    Congrats for the amazing work you doing man !!! The top videos out there.
    Though about this cocktail I don’t agree fully.
    I know you are making the classics by the historical recipes, but Moscow Mule is has much better properties made with a dash of sugar ( I know cheating ) and 5-10 ml ginger juice ( pre-made easily , I’m sure you know how)
    And actually shaken and poured over the ginger beer ( I know I’m lazy too and prefer to build , but if you want it nice and tasty ( as well as classic , just try )
    And few dashes of angostura in the shaker or after wouldn’t be a big cheat;)))
    But man ,,such great job !!

  21. Craig Knight says:

    Would you use Cock an Bull Gin beer, or is that a Personal preference to use the one you're using?

  22. Jonathon Fitzner says:

    Yeah that's not how physics works. The superior conducting properties of copper mean that the cold is being pulled out of the drink by the copper and into the air. So it's actually going to warm your drink faster than if it were served in something with less thermal conductivity like glass or ceramic. That's why double-walled drink vessels are superior at keeping drinks either hot or cold because the layer of air between the inside and outside of the glass provides a very good thermal barrier.

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