Some problems can only be solved with a cocktail.
In 1941 Vodka was struggling to find its niche in the flourishing American cocktail scene. This was a problem for John G. Martin who in 1939 had purchased the US rights to the French Vodka brand Smirnoff. Sales were virtually nonexistent in the US… Americans were used to drinking Whiskey. The running joke at the time was that the word “Vodka” was Russian for “Horrible.” (Vodka actually translates to “little water.”)
Jack Morgan was going through a similar situation on the West Coast. Morgan was the owner of a popular Hollywood Restaurant named Cock‘n Bull. At the time, Ginger Beer was difficult to find in America so Morgan set out to provide the solution. He created Cock‘n Bull Ginger Beer and it quickly earned a reputation for its signature kick. Unfortunately, Cock‘n Bull Ginger Beer sales were slower than Morgan expected.
When Martin and Morgan got together for a drink, they did what most men do… they talked about their problems. In an effort to solve both of their problems at they same time and with the help of the bartender they created the classic drink we now know as the Moscow Mule. Cock’n Bull Ginger Beer mixed with Smirnoff Vodka and Lime served over ice. Moscow was the only city in Russia they were familiar with and Mule because of Cock’n Bull Ginger Beer’s signature kick.
In addition to its ingredients the Moscow Mule also had a signature receptacle. Morgan had a girlfriend who had inherited a Copper Factory from her father, but like Vodka and Ginger Beer, Copper was also struggling to find a consumer product in the US. It was decided that in order to bolster Copper sales and give the Moscow Mule a unique presentation, it would only be presented in a Copper Mug supplied by Morgan’s girlfriend.
Martin took the Moscow Mule on tour across the country in order to boost Vodka Sales. Every bar he visited he asked the bartender to pose for a photo with a Moscow Mule in a Copper Mug. He would save each photo he took and show it to the next bartender he met in order to prove the Moscow Mule was being served everywhere else in a Copper Mug.
Martin’s hustle made the Moscow Mule a Nationwide Sensation.
Make it Yourself…
1.5 oz of your Favorite Vodka
0.5 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 oz Home Made Ginger Beer*
5 oz Freshly Squeezed Ginger Juice
8 oz Lemon Juice
14 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 tsp. Champagne Yeast
1 L Room Temperature Water
Mix all ingredients together, pour into the bottle. Add Champagne Yeast.
Leave over night. Serve Chilled
Combine all ingredients in copper cup with ice. Garnish with Lemon Wheel