Moscow Mule

From Russia With Love 

When you start talking about Moscow there are lots of things you think about – amazing architecture decorated in snow, fascinating people and the Moscow Mule. This is one of the most famous cocktails served around the world and like many of the most popular drinks, has also been reinvented in a number of new ways.

Creating an Icon

Despite its name, the Moscow Mule was actually invented in 1941 by John G Martin of GF Heublein Brothers Inc. a spirits and food company based in Connecticut. Alongside ‘Jack’ Morgan, the president of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products, who made ginger beer, the two created the drink in the restaurant of the same name on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. The combination of the ginger beer and the Smirnoff vodka came about when neither of the two items were selling well so the men put them together to make something different.

From the start, the drink was always served in a copper mug, which were bought from an immigrant called Sophie Berezinski, who came to California with 2000 of the mugs from her father’s shop in Russia. Her husband wanted to toss them but she travelled around the city, looking for someone to buy it – she found them at the Cock ‘n’ Bull, who wanted something different to serve their new drink.

Traditional Drink

The Moscow Mule is a drink served on the rocks – meaning it is poured over ice. As well as serving it in the copper mug that has become synonymous with, the drink has set ingredients for its traditional version. It is served with 9 parts vodka (also known as 4.5cl) to 1 part lime juice and 24 parts or 12cl ginger beer. The vodka and ginger beer are added to the glass with ice then the lime juice is added. It is stirred gently and a lime slice and sprig of mint is added for garnishing.


The fun part of cocktails today is changing the ingredients and making something new and different – and the Mule is no exception, with lots of different Moscow Mule recipes. Take the Orange Mule for example. This takes the Moscow Mule recipe and gives it a modern and refreshing change. It uses a cup of ice, 2 ounces of vodka and the same of fresh orange juice, 1 ounce of lemon juice and half a cup of ginger beer. Made in the same way as the traditional recipe, it is garnished with a piece of candied ginger, slice of orange and sprig of mint.

The Garden Mule cocktail is a very fruity variation. Four slices of cucumber, 16 blueberries, 6 mint leaves and 1 ounce of lime are used alongside 2 ounces of vodka and half a cup of ginger beer. The fruit is muddled in a cocktail shaker until crushed and juicy then the vodka and lime is added with ice. It is then strained into a mule mug and garnished with candied ginger.

Finally, the Pineapple Moscow Mule uses pineapple juice as well as lime juice, vodka and ginger beer. It is made the same way as the traditional recipe and uses candied ginger, a slice of pineapple and a sprig of mint for garnishing.

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