The art of mixing drinks: a skill known to the modern gentleman, to prepare the Moscow Mule


The long drink that was born in 1941 by a lucky attempt – an improvisation – and today is among the ten most appreciated and ordered cocktails in the world. Keep reading to find out more.

Saint Barth Men’s T-Shirt; white cotton, round neckline, slim fit, with a Moscow mule cocktail front print.

According to the 1948 book, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” by David A. Embury, a cocktail is defined by this series of axioms:

1. It has to whet your appetite, not help it;
2. It must stimulate the mind;
3. It must be pleasing to the palate;
4. It must be pleasing to the sight;
5. It must have enough alcoholic taste; 6. Finally, it must be well iced

These simple and precise rules can be said more than satisfied in the case of the Moscow Mule. This cocktail is served in a copper cup, very much appreciated especially in the summer.

In the list of The World’s 50 Best Selling Classic Cocktails 2017 of the authoritative International Drinks, the Moscow’s Mule is the eighth most popular cocktail in the world, even before Mojito.

Thirst quenching and gamy the Moscow Mule is defined as more of a long drink than anything else. With its 76 years of age, the Moscow Mule is now a classic of mixology.

But what is the story behind the Moscow Mule and how does one mix this state of the art? Find out the Moscow Mule’s history and origins below.

Moscow Mule, the story and origins

In spite of the name, Moscow Mule is not a Russian cocktail, in fact the only link with the country is the fact that it is made with the typical Russian liquor, vodka.
The Moscow Mule, created in 1941, by the needs of John G. Martin (who at the time had just bought a
small vodka company, Smirnoff) and Jack Morgan (manager of Cock’n Bull, a Hollywood venue for many celebrities, who he had begun producing his own label of Ginger Beer) to give a boost to his unsold products. At the time, vodka was not very popular in the United States but when mixed with soft drinks, it had started to conquer the more nationalistic palates.

The name of the drink, on the other hand, is to be attributed to the fact that initially the drink was served in a set of copper cups each with an embossed image of a kicking mule.

How to make the Moscow Mule

Vodka, Ginger Beer and lime: for the true mixer perfectionists, use only these ingredients, as in the original recipe.

Ingredients and doses of the Moscow Mule original recipe:

4.5 cl vodka
12 cl of ginger beer
0.5 cl of lime juice

Preparing a Moscow Mule is really simple: fill a glass of ice, squeeze the lime, pour vodka, then finish by adding ginger beer.

NB: The cucumber that is often added to the drink is a “Russian” touch, it is not provided in the original recipe. This small addition draws the Eastern Europe’s alcoholic tradition of downing smooth vodka shots, and from time to time using pickled gherkins.