American spirit in Russian cup: the fascinating history of Moscow Mule

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One of the most popular cocktails in the world, like most cocktails, is very American, but it also has to do with Russia. Not only for the Vodka, one of the key ingredients, but also and above all for the famous copper cup that contains the perfect combination of Vodka and Ginger Beer and which keeps the drink cold, enhancing its flavor and aroma.

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But what’s the story behind the famous copper cup? And why is its genesis closely linked to Russia and the United States? Let’s find out together, and understand why Kiev, Ukraine and the desire to erase the Russian capital from the name of the cocktail has no connection with tradition, despite the pressures coming from all over the world after the invasion of Ukraine by the Russia in 2022.

The history of the Moscow Mule

In the 1940s Sophie Berezinski left Russia and emigrated with her husband to the United States. In addition to her suitcases, she carried a fairly heavy load. Two thousand copper cups that she had designed, made by her father who owned the Moscow Copper Co. in Russia.

In Russia she had found no buyer for her cups, and instead of throwing them away, she made an attempt with USA. On the other hand, wasn’t it the country where everything could be achieved?

After several attempts, it seemed that even in the US there was no place for Sophie’s cups. Cornered by her husband, who threatened to get rid of all those pieces of tin, she began knocking on every restaurant or pub door in search of a buyer, she didn’t want to give up on the idea that the fate of her thousands of cups was an American landfill.

After a lot of knocking, a door finally opened: it was the door of the Cock ‘n’ Bull on the Sunset Strip.

Cock ‘n’ Bull owner Jack Morgan was with John Martin who bought Smirnoff Vodka Distillery. The two men were good friends and were there at the pub venting their troubles by drinking on it: Jack Morgan was worried that he would not get his new brand of Ginger Beer to stand out, and John Martin was not having success with Vodka, it seemed that it had no appeal to Americans; the two were complaining about their failures and trying to figure out how to change the situation, when Sophie Berezinski entered with her solid copper cups.

And that was the day when the fantastic Moscow Mule was created, the cocktail that after then had a resounding worldwide success.

While Sophie told the story of the cups, the two friends began to try various mixes that could make a decent drink, combining Morgan’s ginger beer, Martin’s vodka and Belezinski’s cups.

That day, thanks to the tenacity of a woman who did not want to give up her dream, the Moscow Mule was born: an American spirit in a Russian copper cup.

How to prepare a Moscow Mule

In order to prepare a good Moscow Mule you need the following ingredients:

  • Vodka: 40ml
  • Lime juice: 20ml
  • Ginger beer: until the glass is full
  • Sliced ​​lime

The suggestion is obviously to use the traditional copper mug, possibly cooled in the freezer. A few ice cubes are placed in the cup, then vodka and lime juice according to the doses, and then you fill the mug with Ginger Beer. And you will be able to savor a piece of history, both American and Russian one. Just to remind us that erasing the past never makes much sense.