Posted January 21, 2011 by Jaclyn Moos on Lifestyle
A good Moscow Mule is hard to come by. A traditional Moscow Mule must be served in a copper mug. I don't really know the reason for this, and do not even know if there is one. The only explanation I've ever gotten is that "it has something to do with the oxidation", whatever that means. My guess is that it sets this cocktail apart from all of the millions of other vodka concoctions out there. The reason why a real Moscow Mule is so difficult to come by is the cost of the copper mug and the bad habit of people collecting (i.e. stealing) the novel cup. This has forced bars and restaurants to instead serve the drink in a collins or pint glass.
Every once in a while I'll stumble across a bar that still holds true to the original recipe, 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of lime juice topped with 4 ounces of ginger beer (not to be confused with ginger ale), and it's always a special treat when I can order my Moscow Mule in a copper mug. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Happy Hour Bar at Hebgen Lake serves the real deal. They've figured out a very effective method that prevents any thieves from even thinking of boosting a mug. The bartender rings a loud bell when a Moscow Mule is ordered so that everyone knows there's "copper on the floor" and the locals won't take their eyes off you until the empty copper mug is returned to the bartender.
I recently made plans for a weekend getaway to Butte, Montana, otherwise known as the Copper City, or the Mecca of Moscow Mules. I've never been anywhere where every single bar (and there's no shortage of them there) and restaurant serves Moscow Mules. In a copper mug.
I love Butte, and especially more so now that I know I can order a Moscow Mule anywhere I go. The only hard part is what to order first, the spicy, ginger deliciousness or a local microbrew brewed by Quarry Brewing.