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When it comes to enjoying Moscow Mules at home, the grocery list is simple: vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and ice. When you take a sip from your glass though, you may notice something is missing when you compare your beverage to something you would find at your favorite cocktail bar. The difference is not a matter of a missing ingredient, but rather a missing vessel for your beverage. Without a copper mug, the Moscow Mule is incomplete.
Dating back to the 1940s, the Moscow Mule has always been presented in a copper mug. While the copper brings a certain festivity to the drink, the tradition of the copper mug is not just for the show of it. Copper mugs actually improve your drinking experience by controlling the beverage’s temperature and helping to improve its taste (more on that later).
Solid copper mugs are ideal for keeping your drink chilled. As soon as your iced cocktail fills the mug, the copper walls cool down. Even the rim becomes chilled, bringing a cool sensation to your lips with every sip. The copper also prevents the warmth from your hands from warming up the mug. Instead, the mug’s handle protects your hand from the coldness of the mug.
While the matter of taste is more subjective, experts say that using a copper mug can bring out distinct aromas and flavors in your Moscow Mule. When the vodka touches the walls of the mug, the copper can begin to oxidize slightly, which enhances the aromas of the vodka. The cold temperature and the copper also work together to bring out more carbonation in the ginger beer, increasing the fizzy quality of your drink.
When searching for copper mugs, it’s important to make sure that the mug is made of pure copper, without alloys or inside liners. Once you are assured of the mug’s competition, it comes down to a matter of personal taste in aesthetics. Some mugs are hammered to give the vessel an artisan feel. Others, meanwhile, are completely smooth and sleek in design. No matter the style you chose, all will bring you one step closer to perfecting your Moscow Mule recipe and presentation.
1. Alchemade Copper Barrel Mug
Made with heavy-gauge, pure copper, this mug is perfect for those who wish to have the authentic mule-drinking experience from the comfort of home. The wide-barrel design of the mug leaves ample room for ice and can hold up to sixteen ounces of liquid.
It is also made with a food-safe lacquer coating that preserves the copper’s beauty and natural shine. However, like all pure copper products, the mug is easily tarnished. Washing the mug by hand with soap and water is the best way to clean your mug without risking any damage.
Pros: Barrel design, pure hammered copper, comes with a recipe book.
Cons: Easy to tarnish, not dishwasher-safe.
2. Copper Mules Premium Moscow Mule Mug
Since each of these copper mugs are handmade, each one will be unique. From the handle to the walls, the mug is made up of pure copper, giving mule drinkers a refreshing drinking experience. Its sturdy, riveted handle gives this mug added durability and will make this vessel a long-lasting addition to your home bar.
The outside of the mug is coated with a food-grade lacquer to keep the mug looking like new, no matter how many times you put it to use. However, the inside of the mug is susceptible to tarnishing. Thankfully, it comes with an e-book full of care instructions.
Pros: Handcrafted mug, sturdy handle, pure copper.
Cons: The inside can tarnish if not properly cared for.
3. Solid Copper Authentic Moscow Mule Mug
For those who love the benefits of copper mugs but resist the bulkier design of wide-barrel models, this smooth, slim mug is the perfect alternative. The difference in shape doesn’t sacrifice its capacity, either. This mug holds up to sixteen ounces of liquid.
Made from solid copper, purists will love this mug for its total lack of linings. This mug does not even have a lacquer coating like many other solid copper mugs do have. This means that taking care of your mug requires extra attention. Luckily, it comes with recipes and cleaning instructions.
Pros: Sleek design, riveted handle, pure copper.
Cons: Some may prefer a barrel design, tarnishes easily without proper care.
4. Pure Copper Moscow Mule Mug
We love this handmade mug for its blend of the traditional and the unique. The hammered copper retains the look of classic barrel mugs often seen in cocktail bars while the straight walls give the mug extra length and a modern twist. Plus, its thick, pure copper walls keep cocktails ice cold.
A food-safe lacquer is used to coat the mug, which allows the mug to keep its bright shine. Like all products made of pure copper, this mug can tarnish, so it must be cared for properly.
Pros: Handcrafted, unique design, pure copper.
Cons: Some may prefer a wide-barrel shape.