Whether enjoyed in the crisp chill of winter or as a refreshing summertime libation, the Moscow Mule has become a favorite among American cocktail lovers. However, the popular cocktail doesn’t seem to have originated in Russia.
Boozy historians speculate that the Moscow Mule was created, pre-Cold War, in the good ol’ USA sometime in the 1940s. At that time, vodka wasn’t especially popular in this country and was seen as being a drink favored by Russians. However, the story goes that an alcohol salesman from Smirnoff – hoping to move some cases of vodka – persuaded a bartender at the Cock ‘n’ Bull bar in Los Angeles to create a drink using vodka and ginger beer, and thus the Moscow Mule was born. According to drink historian David Wondrich, the cocktail’s popularity in turn made vodka a top-selling liquor in this country.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.