Vodka Classics: The Moscow Mule

Matt Keller

Phil Greene of Museum of the American Cocktail recently led a seminar titled “Vodka Classics” at the Warehouse Theater in Washington, DC. Guests were treated to five different vodka cocktails prepared by the staff of The Passenger, led by co-owner Derek Brown.  Guests were served the Cook Strait Sling No. 2, the Moscow Mule, the Vesper, the Caipiroska and the Cosmopolitan.

Phil informed the audience that vodka did not really get a foothold in the US market until the 1950s. Americans were more used to spirits with distinctive and more pronounced flavors, such as whiskey and gin. In the 1940s, John Martin and Jack Morgan introduced the Moscow Mule to promote Martin’s new product Smirnoff Vodka.  Morgan also wanted to promote his Cock n’ Bull brand ginger beer. The Moscow Mule was served in a copper mug and became the house special at the Cock n’ Bull on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. As the Smirnoff brand increased in popularity it ran many ad campaigns featuring the Moscow Mule with celebrities such as Woody Allen, with an accompanying ad campaign, touting that it will “leave you breathless.”

The Moscow Mule:

2 ounces Skyy Vodka

3 ounces Barritt’s ginger beer

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Build in mug, filled with ice, garnish with lime wedge.


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