The Moscow Mule is 75!
While there is still a bit of speculation on the cocktail’s true origin, it’s widely accepted that the drink was created in 1941 by John G. Martin, an executive working for the Heublein drinks company, and Jack Morgan, the owner of a pub called Cock ’n’ Bull in Los Angeles.
Legend has it that Martin had recently acquired the rights to Smirnoff, and was traveling around to bars attempting to convince them, much like today’s sales reps, to carry the vodka. Vodka wasn’t exactly killing it back then, so Martin needed to come up with a way to convince people to drink it. Add a little ginger beer (which Morgan was having trouble selling), and a copper mug (Martin’s girlfriend at the time owned a copper company), and a cocktail masterpiece was born.
To celebrate the Mule’s birthday, Smirnoff held an event in Los Angeles just a few miles from where the drink was originally created. The immersive cocktail party took guests back to 1941, complete with a band, dancing, and an old-time speakeasy.
Also in conjunction with the event, Smirnoff announced Moscow Mule Day. Set for March 3rd, the date (3-3) celebrates the three ingredients used to make the classic cocktail: Vodka, Ginger Beer, and Lime.
We were on hand for the celebration in Los Angeles. Take a look a the gallery above for a taste of what you missed. We recommend viewing while sipping on your own Moscow Mule: Mix 2 ounces of vodka with 3 ounces of ginger beer and add a squirt of lime juice. It’s always a bit more delicious in a copper mug (or at least that’s what our eyes say), but the recipe will work fine in a rocks glass as well.
1 of 12
The Moscow Mule is traditionally made with two parts vodka, three parts ginger beer and served in a copper mug.
2 of 12
Smirnoff had Mules waiting at the door for every attendee.
3 of 12
Throughout the night, costumed bartenders were pouring more Mules on demand.
4 of 12
The ginger beer of the night was Cock 'n' Bull, named after the pub where the drink originated.
5 of 12
The Moscow Mule was originally created to help sell vodka during a time where brown liquor was exceptionally popular.
6 of 12
During the party, actors portrayed some of the main characters in the Moscow Mule's story, including John G Martin and Jack Morgan.
7 of 12
During the party, everyone toasted to the creation of the Mule.
8 of 12
9 of 12
An on-site poet was available to write individualized poems on demand.
10 of 12
Music was big in the 40s, and each portion of the party included a different musical guest.