The story of the Moscow Mule and its copper mug

Do you know the story of the original Moscow mule?  Today it is a popular drink in bars and restaurants as is known for the way it is served in an engraved copper mug.  But do you know why?  Well – here is the story.

The original Moscow mule was created back in 1941 at a bar in Hollywood.  The owner of a bar called Cock’N’Bull was having trouble selling his stock of Smirnoff Vodka as well as his house-made ginger beer.  The head bartender at the time just wanted to get rid of the stuff, so he combined them and started selling them to customers.  At the same time, a Russian immigrant named Sophie Berezinski made her way to California with about 2,000 copper mugs that were made in her father’s copper shop back home.  Her husband was bothered that she carted them all the way across the world only to let them take up space in their home.  So she tried selling them on the streets of Los Angeles.  After some time, she finally found the owners of the Cock’N’Bull who were willing to buy them.  The bartender thought they were necessary to make his new drink stand out since it was just a combination of liquors created to clear out the basement.  And thus was born the iconic Moscow mule served in a copper mug.

At the same time that the Cock’N’Bull car created a new iconic drink, they also made Moscow mule mugSmirnoff Vodka become famous.  Before the Moscow mule became popular, Smirnoff was a very small company created by a Russian immigrant.  It was sold to an American who managed to get it into the hands of the bartender at the Cock’N’Bull at just the right moment.  Because Smirnoff was not well known, it was rarely ordered and the bartender was forced to use it in his new creation.  From then on, Smirnoff because the signature vodka to be used in a Moscow mule.  Years later, when United States-U.S.S.R. tires became hostile, a rumor began that Smirnoff was Russian-made and thus bad for the country.  No one realized that the company was purchased from a Russian ex-pat a while ago.  Bartenders in New York City began boycotting the vodka due to its Russian ties, and eventually started a full-on boycott of Moscow mules.  All the while, Smirnoff as a company originated in Connecticut.

The original Moscow mule does have ties to Russia with the ex-pat first creating Smirnoff in Connecticut, as well as another ex-pat who sold her father’s copper mugs to the Cock’N’Bull.  But the drink itself was created in Hollywood and named after those who created the vodka and the custom copper serving mugs.  All the elements come together to make this unique cocktail that is revered in bars and restaurants all over the country today.  The original copper mugs and the cocktail itself just recently made a come back and are now more popular than ever.  The copper mugs themselves are a hot commodity that make any drink served in it special.