What are the Best Moscow Mule Mugs Made of?

What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the phrase Moscow Mule? You probably imagine the beautiful copper mugs that the drink is typically served in. The Moscow Mule is a refreshing summer cocktail that has a cup of its own. Wondering about the types of materials that Moscow Mule mugs are made of? Wondering about the use of copper and its advantages?

There are several facts linked to the selection of the material. Let’s start with the history of the Moscow Mule mug before examining the main reasons why a specific metal is commonly used for the creation of such vessels.

Moscow Mule Mugs

A Brief History of the Moscow Mule

John Martin, the president of G.F. Heublein & Brothers is the person recognized as the creator of the original Moscow Mule. The food and spirit importing company was the one that bought a tiny vodka distillery (Smirnoff) in the 1930s. Unfortunately, people didn’t really drink a whole lot of vodka at that time.

One day, Martin complained to a friend of his called Jack Morgan about the inability to sell all of that vodka. Morgan had problems of his own. He was finding it difficult to sell his ginger beer. According to some accounts, the two men knew a third person who was having a very hard time selling copper mugs.

The trio decided to do something about it and create a brand new product combining all three components. That’s how the Moscow Mule came into existence. As you can see, the original selection of copper mugs had nothing to do with practical considerations about the quality of the cocktail. It was all a marketing gimmick.

In fact, the marketing campaign that Martin and Morgan carried out in the early 1940s ranks among the most successful ones in the history of cocktail drinks. The Moscow Mule quickly got established as a popular cocktail and its fame was maintained throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The distinctive copper mug was one of the reasons for the success of the cocktail. It simply looked different and very refreshing.

Why Copper?

Quickly, it became obvious that the copper mug had a couple of great characteristics that contributed to the Moscow Mule being a very enjoyable cocktail.

For a start, copper is a material that can maintain the chilly temperature of the drink much longer than glass. The metal becomes cold immediately, making the Moscow Mule icy and refreshing.

In addition, the oxidation process that results from pouring vodka and lime juice inside the mug enhances the individual flavors. Many fans of the cocktail swear that the taste isn’t the same when the Moscow Mule is poured in glass or plastic cups.

The Use of Other Metals

Some of the Moscow Mule mugs that can be found on the market today come with nickel lining. The use of this second metal can be explained by science. The nickel (occasionally stainless steel) used inside the mug make it stronger and tougher. Copper is a malleable metal that will become a lot more durable when reinforced with nickel or stainless steel lining.

Nickel on the inside of the mug will also stop the oxidation process. It prevents copper from leeching inside the drink. Some people are concerned about copper leeching being unhealthy. Thus, they prefer a mug that’s lined with a metal incapable of leeching.

Choosing the Perfect Moscow Mule Mug

Everything stated so far in the article doesn’t mean you can’t drink a Moscow Mule from a standard glass. The taste of the cocktail will still be great and you’ll enjoy its refreshing qualities. If you want to test the authentic Moscow Mule experience, however, you should consider the purchase of a copper mug set.

Modern copper mugs, especially the mass-manufactured ones, are far from expensive. They are still crafted from copper and they will keep the drink perfectly chilled. The decision to buy a copper mug that’s lined with nickel or stainless steel depends entirely on your individual preferences.

To choose the right mug, you may want to shop around and get a better feel of what the market has to offer. Comparing products side by side will give you a good idea about the characteristics of the best copper mugs and their cost. You can also find vintage Moscow Mule mugs but they tend to be more expensive. Some of these items are collectible and their purchase will be for a completely different reason. As time goes by, the price of the historic mugs is going to increase.


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