Moscow Mule Day: A look at the origins and adaptation of this classic cocktail - Hindustan Times
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Moscow Mule Day: A look at the origins and adaptation of this classic cocktail

ByAbigail banerji
Mar 03, 2024 05:29 PM IST

On National Moscow Mule Day, mixologists share what makes this drink popular and their fun takes on the classic drink

Next time you head out for dinner or to catch up with friends, ask your mixologist for a Moscow Mule. Never heard of it? Well, this refreshing and slightly spiced drink has a high ABV (alcohol by volume) and is a classic cocktail that is made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. Today also happens to be National Moscow Mule Day. This is a special date as March 3, which is the third day of the third month of the year, symbolises the cocktail's three primary ingredients.

Ingredients to make a Moscow Mule(Unsplash)
Ingredients to make a Moscow Mule(Unsplash)

Ingredients to make a Moscow Mule(Unsplash)
Ingredients to make a Moscow Mule(Unsplash)

No connection to Russia

Now, don’t be fooled. Just because the drink is called a Moscow Mule, it has no connection with the Russian city. Instead, it finds its origins in the 1940s United States. It is often attributed to a collaboration between three individuals — John G. Martin, a liquor distributor; Jack Morgan, owner of the Cock 'n' Bull pub in Hollywood; and Rudolph Kunett, president of the Smirnoff vodka distillery.

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The story goes that Martin and Morgan had the challenge of promoting their struggling products – Smirnoff vodka and Morgan's ginger beer. They combined the two with a splash of lime juice and served the concoction in copper mugs, which were initially considered unconventional for cocktails. This clearly worked out for them as this drink has become a staple in many bars and restaurants all over the world.

 

The science behind the drink

Stanley Fernandes, corporate bar manager at Butterfly High, Mumbai, says, “The correct way to enjoy a Moscow Mule is to have it on a bed of crushed ice in a Copper Mug. Moscow mules are meant to be enjoyed chilled. The copper mug helps insulate the drink, keeping it colder for longer. Chilling the Moscow Mule keeps its flavours crisp and vibrant, ensuring each sip reveals the harmonious blend of zesty lime, spicy ginger beer, and smooth vodka.”

 

The Chinese Mule has a hint of sake
The Chinese Mule has a hint of sake

Today, there are several variations and adaptations that continue to emerge across the cocktail industry. Merwyn Alphonso, bar manager, at Hakkasan serves their take on the Moscow Mule, which they have named, The Chinese Mule. He says, “The Chinese Mule is our signature cocktail. It is our take on the classic drink because of the hit of the sake. The slightly spicy ginger flavour makes this a great monsoon-warming drink, while the lime and vodka add a sublime refreshing flavour. The cocktail is strong yet smooth and you’ll hardly notice the punch as you sip the cocktail down.”

 

The drink is traditionally served in a copper mug (Unsplash)
The drink is traditionally served in a copper mug (Unsplash)

Recipe for the Classic Moscow Mule

Inputs from Vaibhav Chaware, head of operations, Poco Loco, Mumbai

Ingredients:

-60ml Vodka

-15ml Lime Juice freshly squeezed

-120ml Ginger Beer

-Lime wedge

-Mint sprig

Method:

-Over ice, shake all the liquids together.

- Serve it in a chilled Copper Mug With lots of ice.

-Garnish it with Lime wedge and a mint sprig

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