The history of the Moscow Mule:

After acquiring the right to sell Smirnoff vodka in 1939, John G. Martin of the Hartford-based Heublein Liquor Company found that selling vodka to Americans wasn’t easy. It wasn’t until after World War II that he had the time to dedicate to the project of making his new product profitable.

As the story goes, Martin was discussing this problem with a friend, Jack Morgan, who had a similar problem. Morgan was the owner of the Cock ‘n’ Bull Restaurant in Los Angeles and also manufactured ginger beer, a non-alcoholic British drink similar to ginger ale. Like Martin, he was having trouble finding Americans interested in buying his product. Morgan also had a friend with a surplus of copper goods.

Martin and Morgan solved their problems by inventing a new cocktail: the Moscow Mule. The Mule combined Martin’s Smirnoff vodka and Morgan’s Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer with a healthy squeeze of lime, and was served over ice in a solid copper mug. Soon it was wildly popular and it became the first of many vodka-based drinks produced by Heublein.

It is currently experiencing a well-deserved renewal of popularity!


  • 1.5 ounce Smirnoff vodka
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 4-5 ounces ginger beer
  • Fill a solid copper mug with ice
  • Pour in vodka, squeeze in lime.
  • Add ginger beer; stir.
  • Garnish with lime wedge.


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