Why Is A Moscow Mule Served In A Copper Mug
The Moscow Mule is probably one of the simplest cocktails you can make. All that this great drink requires is vodka, ginger beer, lime juice and some ice. Of course to get the really authentic Moscow Mule taste, you need make it in a solid copper mug.
No one knows if its just a placebo effect, but many people say that a Moscow Mule actually tastes better when drunk from a solid copper mug. And hey even if it doesnt, its always nice to drink the right drink out of the right glass or mug. Its just somehow makes it seem that little bit more special.
But is there any truth to the fact that Moscow Mules taste better from a copper mug? We dont really know but if you look at most of the popular cocktails out there, you will find that there is a great story behind them and it just seems to make the drink seem so much better if there is a great romantic story around it.
Moscow Mule Copper Cup
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Do You Really Need Copper Mugs To Make A Great Moscow Mule
Well this is the billion dollar question, which may or may not matter a great deal if you actually enjoy moscow mules anyway. But the main thing is does it add to the fun of drinking a great cocktail, adding a little bit of tradition to the drink by creating a little story around it. Well we think it does, and may even add to the great taste of this alcoholic drink.
Copper mugs are great for enjoying Moscow Mules. for one thing they just look cool to drink out of for just one particular drink. Some say the copper helps to conduct the cold from the ice to your lips helping with the flavour. Others say that the copper actually oxidising when it comes into contact with the vodka and ginger beer which enhances the flavour. And another school of thought is that all that is bogus, but drinking out of a copper mug for Moscow mules just adds to the entertainment factor and the experience. Hey, at the end of the day, if you enjoy a great drink, and a copper mug makes it taste better and look cool, why not!
Making Of A Hand Made Copper Cup For Moscow Mules
Lined or Unlined Copper Mugs? Are Copper Mugs Safe
The Classic Moscow Mule Copper Mug
Traditionally Moscow Mules were always served in mugs that were pure copper, and for the reasons above the copper picks up the cold feeling from the cool drink and the ice, as copper is a great conductor so transfers heat or cold very quickly. That and we like copper mugs just because they are beautiful. The look and color of copper almost makes it a work of art, whether thats in a copper mug, stainless steel cookware or a dish. It also gives a rustic feel that gives a retro look to wherever you use it.
The problem with pure copper is that it reacts with other substances, especially when heat and acidic liquids are part of the equation. Also although copper exists in quantities in our bodies and in food, it is only in trace quantities. Large quantities of copper can make you ill and cause real problems with bodily functions. So it is a good question to ensure copper mugs are safe. But the answer is yes, in the forms we are using copper, it is safe.
Lets have a look at the 2 types of copper mugs available on the market right now. There are lined and unlined copper mugs that are used for Moscow Mules. Are the lined mugs safe? The answer is yes they are. Lined copper is lined with nickel, tin or stainless steel on the surfaces that come into contact with liquids. This ensures that the liquid and the copper cannot react together. This means you can drink your Moscow Mules from a lined copper cup or mug with no worries that the copper is reacting and leeching into your drink and slowly poisoning you.
The area where there is concern is with unlined copper mugs. In these mugs the pure copper is exposed to the liquids that we consume. Even in an unlined mug though we are generally safe, as we are not introducing heat which can cause the copper to react. Some may be concerned that the ginger ale used in Moscow Mules may cause the copper to react in an unlined mug. But we are even safe there, as ginger is alkaline and not acid. This means it wont react with the copper in the mug, but also ginger is very good for settling the acid in your stomach, which is why ginger beer is great to drink if you are suffering from heartburn.
So if you are drinking from unlined copper mugs, which are more traditional for Moscow Mules, please ensure you are only using them for cold drinks, and also ensure that you drink nothing acidic from a copper mug, cup or jug. As long as you do that you should be safe from the effects of leeching, but if you are still unsure, then buy a lined copper mug so you have no chance of copper getting into your food.
Aha you will say, dont Moscow Mules contain lime juice, an acid that will react with the unlined copper? Yes this is a fact. In fact lime or lemon juice is known from childhood experiments to be a great way to clean oxidised copper pennies. But wait, didnt we say above that Moscow Mules contain ginger beer, an alkali. And a lot more ginger beer than lime juice? Why yes, and if you recall from school chemistry an acid and alkali will cancel each other out. So the fact that you have more ginger beer than lime juice should neutralise the acidic effects of the lime juice, making that safe.
One bit of advice I would give is to not put sliced lime in direct contact with the copper on the side of the mug. if you do this the lime juice will strip the oxidised copper from the mug, just like from a copper penny. And what happens to the oxidised copper. Well that goes into your drink! So in my opinion lime juice will be safe in an unlined mug as that will be neutralized by the ginger beer. Just be careful exposing limes to the side of the mug where it can directly contact the unlined metal.
So there is a chance that you could be getting copper from the reaction of the acidic lemon or lime and an unlined copper mug. So my advice would be to stick to lined copper mugs. But if you want to be traditional and use an unlined mug, ensure you arent using too much lime juice and plenty of ginger beer and do not leave the Moscow Mule standing for too long.
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