Moscow Mule Recipe – How to Really Make a Moscow Mule

Back to Recipes

How to Make a Moscow Mule

As the caretakers of the original Moscow Mule recipe and copper mugs, we’re happy to be able to share the same exact recipe that was used on the day that the first Moscow Mule was created, using 3 simple yet previously unmatched ingredients.

Moscow Mule Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 6 ounces ginger beer (or our Moscow Mule Ginger Syrup)
  • 1/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Lime garnish


  1. Place ice into Moscow Copper Co. mug and pour in vodka.
  2. Squeeze in lime juice and top with ginger beer.
  3. Garnish with lime wedge and enjoy.
  4. Cheers.

The Story Behind The Moscow Mule

Did you know that the Moscow Mule is America’s original craft cocktail recipe?

Bartenders are forever fond of saying “a great cocktail tells a story”, and though they usually mean it in terms of how the ingredients combine to create a unique experience for the drinker, every now and then a cocktail has a tried and true backstory that sets the state. The Moscow Mule is absolutely, unequivocally, one of these drinks.

It starts at the Turn of the Century, where in a snow-swept Moscow Copper Company, a young Sophie Berezinski takes an interest in her father’s business. The result of her curiosity and creativity ends up being a beautiful copper mug of her own design, one that her father finds so aesthetically appealing that he makes a run of two-thousand of Sophie’s mugs.

Moscow Mule – A Recipe Made in the USA

Sadly, the typical resident of Communist Russia in the early 1900’s didn’t have much in the way of expendable income for something as lavish as a handcrafted copper mug. So, like many immigrants from a war-torn Europe, Sophie makes her way to New York, mugs in tow. Though she fails to make her fortune in the Big Apple with her mugs, it is where she eventually meets her husband, Max.

Newly married and poor, except for their treasure trove of copper wares, Sophie and Max, like many new immigrants, make their way west to the promised land of California.

Enter The Cock N’ Bull and Hollywood, California

After settling in Hollywood in 1939, Sophie set about trying to sell her mugs and seal her fortunes. It was tough going, trodding from bar, to tavern, to bistro, showing establishment owners her mugs with pride, only to be coolly rebuffed. But persistence pays off, and Sophie had travelled thousands of miles from Russia, only to stop a few blocks short of the next bar on her list. One fateful day, she took her sales pitch through the doors of Sunset Blvd’s iconic Cock N’ Bull pub.

Like many great stories, this is where the stars seemed to truly align in Sophie’s favor, for within that bar were two men suffering – much like Sophie herself – from a problem of excess inventory: one with vodka, and one with ginger beer.

Those men were Jack Martin and Jack Morgan, respectively. On this day Martin was lamenting his recent purchase of the American rights to the Smirnoff Vodka brand, a spirit which at the time the drinking public stateside had little taste for. His friend – and Cock N’ Bull bar owner – Jack Morgan had tried his own hand at making a house brand of ginger beer, something his customers passed up in favor of their usual fare day in, day out.

Of course, the friends had considered combining their respective inventories in the form of a new cocktail, but vodka and ginger beer, where was that something special? That something that said, “you need to try this!”?

That something special – in the kind of beautifully fateful way that was fitting of their Hollywood setting  – walked right up to them in the bar that day. Many miles and many years later, a copper mug and its creator were seemingly preordained to be there at that exact time and place. The serendipity of their meeting was not lost on the three, and they got straight to work trying their hand at creating a delicious new cocktail that would showcase each of their respective elements.

After countless attempts, they finally stumbled – perhaps quite literally after a few especially boozy recipes – onto the perfect combination that showcased the spice of ginger beer and the clean bite of the vodka, all in the cool – both literally and figuratively – vessel that was one of Sophie’s copper mugs; the same mug design still used by Sophie’s Great Grandson JJ Resnick of the Moscow Copper Company.

Growth & Resurgence of the Moscow Mule

Though they had created the Mule, it remained to be seen if this horse had any ‘legs’ with the drinking public. Armed with the newly minted technology known as ‘instant film’, a bartender at the Cock N’ Bull hit the road,  travelling to spots far and wide offering to treat local bartenders to this exciting new cocktail. All he asked in return was that he got a picture of the gentleman enjoying his first sip. Then it was on down the road, armed with that picture, where he would tell the next suds-slinger he encountered that he had proof-positive of the competitions new secret weapon! The ‘Moscow Mule’ became a must-have drink on any menu.

From there the drink caught on like wildfire. America had found a new appetite for vodka, and it was a big one. Meanwhile, Sophie’s signature mugs made it a drink that made a statement to those around you. To be drinking one as the uninitiated barfly gave your gleaming mug a sidelong glance before telling the bartender “I’ll have what they’re having”, was to be a trend-setter of the first order.

Today. the Moscow Mule has not only won back a post-Cold War America, it’s become a darling of cocktail hotspots and in-the-know drinkers the world over. And of course, no matter where you find yourself enjoying one, it wouldn’t be a true Moscow Mule without one of Sophie’s signature copper mugs.