why do they use copper mugs for moscow mules

George Sinclair's 2007 article on the origin of the drink quotes the The mule was born in but "stalled" on the for the duration. The birthplace of "Little Moscow" was in New York's Chatham Hotel. That was back in 1941 when the first carload of Jack Morgan's Cock 'n' Bull ginger beer was railing over the plains to give New Yorkers a happy surprise The Violette Family helped. Three friends were in the Chatham bar, one John A. Morgan, known as Jack, president of Cock 'n' Bull Products and owner of the Hollywood Cock 'n' Bull Restaurant; one was John G. Martin, president of G. F. Heublein Brothers Inc. of Hartford, Conn. , and the third was Rudolph Kunett, president of the Pierre Smirnoff, Heublein's vodka division. As Jack Morgan tells it, "We three were quaffing a slug, nibbling an hors d'oeuvre and shoving toward inventive genius". Martin and Kunett had their minds on their vodka and wondered what would happen if a two-ounce shot joined with Morgan's ginger beer and the squeeze of a lemon. Ice was ordered, lemons procured, mugs ushered in and the concoction put together. Cups were raised, the men counted five and down went the first taste. It was good. It lifted the spirit to adventure. Four or five days later the mixture was christened the Moscow mule. This story was well known for years, however in 2007 a new version of the invention of the Moscow mule cocktail was published. In this version the cocktail's inventor was Wes Price, Morgan's head bartender and the drink was born out of a need to clear the bar's cellar that was packed with unsalable goods such as Smirnoff Vodka and ginger beer. Eric Felten quotes Wes Price in an article that was published in 2007 in "I just wanted to clean out the basement," Price would say of creating the Moscow mule. "I was trying to get rid of a lot of dead stock. " The first one he mixed he served to the actor. "It caught on like wildfire," Price bragged. "
The Moscow mule is almost always served in a copper mug.


The popularity of this drinking vessel is attributable to Martin, who went around the country to sell and popularize the Moscow mule. Martin asked bartenders to pose with a specialty copper mug and a bottle of Smirnoff vodka, and photographed a Polaroid picture of them. He took two photos, leaving one with the bartender for display. The other photo would be put into a collection and used as proof to the next bar Martin visited of the popularity of the Moscow mule. The copper mug remains, to this day, a popular serving vessel for the Moscow mule. According to a 1942 Insider Hollywood article, the Moscow mule was most popular in Los Angeles, where it originated. (12 October 1943) reinforced the mule's popularity in reporting: "Already the mule is climbing up into the exclusive handful of most-popular mixed drinks". It became known as a favorite drink of casino owner. In his book Beat the Dealer (1964), did not name the casino where he thought he had been poorly treated as a. Instead, he wrote, "Immediately I had a Moscow mule", subtly hinting that the location was, due to Harrah's then well-known proclivity for the drink. The ingredients in Moscow mule cocktails are acidic, and the resulting beverage has a pH well below 6. 0. This creates a problem when using the traditional copper mugs, as copper can start dissolving into acidic solutions. Copper in solution is considered toxic at concentrations above 1 mg/L. On 28 July 2017, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division issued a statement that pure copper vessels should not be used to serve acidic drinks, but that "copper mugs lined on the interior with another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel, are allowed to be used and are widely available". The U. S. 2013 Food Code states that copper and copper alloys such as brass "may not be used in contact with a food that has a pH below 6 such as vinegar, fruit juice, or wine or for a fitting or tubing installed between a backflow prevention device and a carbonator. " The U. S. Food and Drug Administrations Model Food Code specifically prohibits copper from coming into direct contact with foods that have a pH below 6. 0.


The advisory relates only to solid copper mugs. Copper mugs that are lined with stainless steel or other food-safe materials are exempt from the advisory. The Moscow mule that Instagram-ready cocktail that has surged in popularity in recent years has only a few ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, lime and ice. But perhaps the most crucial component of the drink is the copper mug in which its almost always served, beverage aficionados say. Now, public health officials are warning that those mugs could be poisoning you. An from Iowas Alcoholic Beverages Division notes that, in keeping with, copper should not come into contact with acidic foods with a pH below 6. That includes vinegar, fruit juice, wine and, yes, a traditional Moscow mule, whose pH is well below 6. 0. the bulletin says. When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food, the division notes. Symptoms of copper poisoning include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice,. Sudden (acute) copper poisoning is rare, NIH says. However, serious health problems from long-term exposure to copper can occur. Severe poisoning can cause liver failure and death. Most chefs and food scientists already know not to use copper (or copper-plated) pots and pans for acidic recipes like tomato sauce, not only for health reasons but for the ways in which reactive cookware can alter the flavor of a recipe. Food editor Emma Christensen broke down the differences between reactive and nonreactive cookware in a good primer for TheKitchn. com Ceramics and stainless steel are considered nonreactive.


While these dont conduct heat very well and tend to have hot spots, they wont interfere with the chemical structure of the food in such a way that changes the look or edibility of our food. Aluminum, copper, iron, and steel (not stainless) are all reactive. They conduct heat very efficiently, and therefore, do a great job of cooking our food evenly. However, these metals are reactive with acidic and alkaline foods. If youre cooking with ingredients like tomatoes or lemon juice, your food can take on a metallic flavor, especially if the cooking time is very long. Light colored foods, like eggs, can develop gray streaks. The same reactions occur when copper surfaces come in contact with acidic drinks. The instinct to separate copper from acidic drinks may not be as apparent simply because copper cups havent been commonly used as a beverage vessel. Until now. The recent popularity of Moscow Mules, an alcoholic cocktail typically served in a copper mug, has led to inquiries regarding the safe use of copper mugs and this beverage, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division wrote. This means that copper mugs that have a copper interior may not be used with this beverage. Some may protest: How else is one supposed to drink a Moscow mule? From a glass? Well, that is one option. But it turns out theres an easy fix without sacrificing the photogenic qualities of the beverage. Simply make sure your Moscow mules are served in copper mugs lined on the inside with another metal, like nickel or stainless steel. The silver lining may not look as authentic in your pictures as a completely copper mug would, but it could save you a trip to the hospital. Cheers. Read more:

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