Alcoholic Festive Moscow Mules in Copper Mugs

Why Are Moscow Mules Served In Copper Mugs?

Alcoholic Festive Moscow Mules in Copper Mugs

Everyone who likes vodka and has an Instagram account has seen the Moscow mule served in a traditional copper cup. But do you know why this specific drink is so often served in this one specific vessel? Let's take a look at the reasons behind it.

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What Exactly is a Moscow Mule?

One can make a Moscow Mule by combining vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. The drink has long been associated with Russia, but it was invented in the United States in the 1940s. 

Moscow Mules have a robust, sweet, and smoky flavor.

Moscow Mule - A Brief History

The Moscow Mule is a cocktail that was born in 1941 and contributed to the rise of vodka in America. According to folklore, John Martin needed to promote Smirnoff vodka, a new and obscure beverage that his distribution firm had just acquired.

Another man, Jack Morgan, sought to get rid of the ginger beer taking up space at his Cock 'n' Bull pub. They combined the two ingredients with a squeeze of lime; the rest is history except for the mug. Nobody knows where that came from, but there are rumors of a third person who happened to have a surplus of copper mugs at the meeting.

This easygoing combination of vodka, spicy ginger, and acidic lime—all neatly packed in an eye-catching mug—makes this drink a smash with almost everyone. It is still a hit more than a quarter-century later.

3 Reasons Why Moscow Mules are Served in Copper Mugs

Famous Moscow mule alcoholic cocktail in copper mugs

Moscow Mules are commonly served in copper mugs because of the drink's long history and the qualities of the mug itself. The three main reasons for this are:


A copper mug's most significant advantage is its ability to regulate temperature. A drink in a copper mug will stay cold longer than one in any other container.

The copper in a Moscow Mule mug keeps a drink cold in any weather, which is one of the reasons the original cocktail has become synonymous with summertime. With a bit of ice in the cup, you'll have a deliciously frosty rim with each sip.

Because copper is such a good conductor, it can keep your cold beverages colder for longer. On a hot summer day, the demise of many bad drinks is melting ice. Copper mugs keep the Moscow Mule's simple yet unique flavors strong till the last drop.

The handle is another important aspect of the solid copper Moscow Mule cup. The copper mug handle, like the stem of a wine glass, prevents your hand's almost 100-degree body temperature from affecting the condition of your pleasantly icy cocktail.

Aroma And Taste

The flavor advantages of using copper cups for Moscow Mules are subjective and will vary depending on your recipe. However, there is evidence that using copper mugs for Moscow Mules enhances the unique flavors of ginger beer, vodka, and lime.

Some experts say that when vodka is poured into a copper mug, the metal oxidizes and releases a unique aroma. Compared to being served in a plastic or glass container, cold copper tends to boost the number of bubbles in the carbonated ginger beer, delivering maximum fizziness to the Moscow Mule.

The extra-cold copper also brings out the lime juice, enhancing the tangy citrus flavors while decreasing the acidity to complement the spicy ginger beer better. When these three flavors are at their peak, they work together to illustrate that the Moscow Mule belongs among the great American drinks.


A gleaming copper mug is a real standout in both vintage and modern settings, making an unforgettable cocktail experience. It looks lovely in your home and tells a story of ingenuity, charm, and perseverance.

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The Enhanced Experience of Drinking from a Pure Copper Mug

Man holding cold moscow mule drink in copper mug

People order cocktails to experience it all—observing its preparation, reveling in its appearance, and leisurely savoring its compelling story and distinct flavor. A cocktail is more than just a well-balanced combination of spirits and mixers; it is also about the aesthetic and function of the vessel in which it is served.

A cocktail should be a work of art, presented deliberately in an appropriate glass or mug and garnished appropriately. Although the copper mug has become iconic with Moscow Mules, you may also use it to make various other cocktails. Many individuals are captivated by the metal's gleam and nostalgia, and Mixologists are impressed by the scientific features of the copper mug.

Nothing, no matter how frosted, can keep a mixed drink cooler than a copper mug. The sensation of one's lips touching the ice-cold rim with each sip is part of the one-of-a-kind experience.

Are Copper Mugs Safe?

Copper mugs for coffee or moscow mules

Copper mugs are safe to drink from, and most Moscow mule mugs are coated with another material to prevent the risk of copper exposure.

Even if you drink from an unlined mug, copper poisoning is unlikely unless you consume a large amount of copper. It is doubtful that a guest will be exposed to such a huge amount of copper when drinking from a copper mug at a bar.

Unlined Copper Mugs

Copper toxicity is rare, so you can probably drink from an unlined copper mug without problems. However, a study conducted by the National Research Council (US) Committee suggests that if you consume 30 milligrams of copper per liter sitting in an unlined pure copper mug for hours, you may start to experience symptoms of copper poisoning.

A guest would have to consume many Moscow mules—and leave them sitting in their cups for several hours—before copper poisoning is a possibility.

Why Did Iowa Ban Unlined Copper Mugs?

Based on the suggestion of the Food and Drug Administration, copper mugs without linings are illegal in Iowa. According to the FDA, drinks with a pH of less than 6 should not come into contact with copper. The Moscow mule is in this group because lime juice and ginger beer have a pH of less than 6.

Some states allow bars to use unlined copper mugs. Check your state's laws to determine what kind of cups you can use. Take care of these cups correctly so your guests can use them for years.

Moscow Mule Copper Mugs FAQ

Why does a Moscow Mule have to be in a copper cup?

Copper mugs are perfect for serving the mule since they conduct temperature and absorb the drink's coldness when poured into the glass. This way, the drink remains icy and frosty while boosting its vodka flavor and natural qualities.

Do Moscow Mules have to be served in copper?

Mules, unlike other cocktails, are traditionally served in copper mugs rather than highball or martini glasses.

What is so special about Moscow Mule mugs?

When filled with a Moscow mule, the copper mug retains the drink's actual temperature so effectively that it has a cold effect on the drinker's tongue.

Do copper mugs make Moscow Mules taste better?

The aroma and flavor of a Moscow Mule cocktail are greatly enhanced by being served in a copper mug, as with many other copper-based drinks. Oxidation occurs when vodka is served in a copper cup, producing a stronger scent and better flavor.


Now that you know a little bit more about the origins of the Moscow mule, head out and buy yourself a nice copper mug. These come at various prices, but even the most affordable option won't break the bank. Plus, when it's time for your next Moscow mule, your drinks will taste just as delicious (if not more so) mixed in your shiny new mug. Let us know what you think!

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  • Got my mugs this past week. They met my every expectation. They are great! I purchased 12. They make a glass of water very refreshing. Will purchase more without any hesitation.


    Carolyn Sherman

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