Are Copper Mugs Poisoning You? Myth Busted!!

copper mug healthy modern mule moscow mule moscow mule mugs

Copper is a metal and whenever you pour an acidic drink into a metal container, it will lead to a reaction. With copper mugs, if the acidic level of the drink is very high then it can sometimes lead to corrosion of the copper lining inside. This can increase the level of copper in the drink and eventually poison the drink.

Are drinks consumed in copper mugs safe for you?

One thing is clear. Drinking something that’s been lying inside a copper mug for more than 2 hours is not safe to consume. However, the important thing to note here is that there are no credible sources that suggest how long do you need to keep a drink into a copper vessel for the harmful reaction to occur. The Washington Post did write an article about how Moscow mule served in copper mugs must be poisoning the consumers but all the tests were done in drinks which were lying in a copper container for too long.

What does the research say?

IOWA’s Alcoholic Beverage Division has suggested that copper as a metal should not come in contact with any food that has a pH below 6. As per the guidelines, they have mentioned the traditional Moscow mules also have a pH level of below 6, however, what’s not clear is the duration of the drink inside the copper mug.

There aren’t many issues reported that have been caused by copper mug poisoning. Although the possible symptoms are usually abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice as stated by the National Institute of Health. However, prolonged usage of drinking Moscow mule in copper can cause poisoning and also in extreme cases cause liver failure and death.

Recently there has been a rumor circulating regarding the much-loved Moscow Mule and its iconic copper mug. As per the report that we discussed, But don’t abandon a fantastically delicious drink and its iconic copper mugs just yet, because there’s nothing to worry about.

Symptoms of Copper Poisoning

People who are exposed to excessive amounts of copper can get sick, but you’re far more likely to feel sick from the excessive consumption of vodka in too many Moscow mules than from the copper in the mug.

Copper is important for the healthy functioning of our bodies. The mineral helps our cells metabolize iron, manufacture vital compounds, and produce energy. The FDA recommends a daily intake of 900 micrograms of copper and it’s probable that many don’t get enough (but that’s not an excuse to go chewing on pennies).

An icy cold Moscow Mule is not acidic enough to break down the copper in a mug in high enough concentrations to make it poisonous. In an interview with Business Insider, food poisoning attorney Bill Marler said, “You'd have to drink from a copper cup every meal of every day for 25 years," to be affected.

Simply put, there is no need to worry about getting some vodka, a bottle of True Roots ginger beer, and a big, frosty copper mug and enjoying a Moscow Mule today.

Things to Take Care

You need to make sure that the drink which you are consuming has been served in a copper vessel that has an inner coating of food-grade coating, something which all advanced mixology copper mugs have. Another thing to make sure is that whenever you are using a copper mug to serve your cocktail, the inner element should either be nickel or stainless steel. The inner silver lining can look cheap but it’s what is going to save your life.

There was another recent report that was published by the American Journal of Public Health. It said how there was a case where the nurses had consumed cocktails at a party where some drink was sitting for long hours in a copper contaminated cocktail shaker for more than two hours. When they consumed the drink, eventually all became sick and reported cases of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The problem here is that it’s hard for anyone to conclude which drink is a healthy drink that when left inside a copper vessel for long hours doesn’t cause any harm. A report by the EPA’s 1991 has set a maximum contaminant level goal for the copper inside water which is 1.3mg per liter.

  • Don’t leave your drink inside a copper mug for too long, more than 2 hours to be specific
  • Always ensure the inside of the mug in which you serve Moscow mule is not pure copper
  • Always drink highly acidic drinks like vodka inside utensils that have food- grade coating inside.
  • If possible, it’s advisable to drink any alcoholic drink in a glass container


We at Advanced Mixology have always made sure of the safety of all our copper mugs and other containers. We assure high standards while making our Moscow mule copper mugs and that’s what has made us trustworthy among our customers. We ensure there is a high-quality food-grade coating used inside our copper mugs so that even if you leave your drink, it shall cause you no harm.

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  • Susan Clearman on

    I would love to try one of your mugs. Moscow Mule drinks are my favorite. What is the best ginger beer to use?

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