There’s something special about ordering shiny copper mug cocktails. When you see one of those sparkling copper cups coming to the table, it immediately draws your attention.
Most people know them for the traditional Moscow Mule, a blend of vodka and spicy ginger beer with a lime wedge and sprig of mint to garnish. But this stunning cocktail glass can be used for many Mule variations.
Want a taste of fall? Go with an Apple Cider Mule. Want a cool drink for a hot summer day? Try a Blackberry and Mint Mule. Whatever your mood, there’s a copper mug cocktail just for you – and we’ve got a list of fabulous recipes here!
You could also put any of these peach crown royal mixed drinks, this raspberry mojito, or these easy holiday cocktails in a copper mug. There are no rules when it comes to cocktails except using good quality alcohol!
What’s the History Behind the Copper Mug?
The history behind the famous copper mug and Moscow Mule cocktail is that of American ingenuity.
Russian immigrant Sophie Berezinski came to the United States in 1941 with 2,000 solid copper mugs from her father’s copper factory. The hopes that she could sell them in the United States seemed bleak until one fateful day when she stopped by the Cock ‘n’ Bull pub on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.
There a meeting of the minds occurred between John Martin, owner of the floundering Smirnoff Vodka distillery, and Jack Morgan, a purveyor of ginger beer. Working together, they came up with the Moscow Mule recipe to help sell Sophie’s mugs, John’s vodka, and Jack’s own brand of ginger beer.
The popular cocktail called a Moscow Mule became a highly requested drink, and a favorite cocktail for a Los Angeles area happy hour.
Why We Love Cocktails in Copper Mugs
Copper mugs are a great glass for cocktails because of a “cool” bit of physics. The copper conducts heat away, and so cold drinks poured inside feel like they stay cool longer than in another type of cup.
It’s the perfect vessel for popular drinks like the Moscow Mule cocktail. Some copper mugs have a hand-hammered look to them, giving a rustic and homey feel. Others look sleek and shiny. They add a festive touch to any time of year.
They look classy and feel comfortable – and of course that bright copper sheen is an Instagrammer’s delight!
Here are some of our favorite drinks and amazing cocktail recipes that you can serve in a classic copper mug.
Cocktails Served in Copper Mugs
Raspberry Moscow Mule Cocktail
Cranberry Moscow Mule Cocktail
Apple Cider Moscow Mule
Caramel Apple Cider Mule
Strawberry Moscow Mules
Pomegranate Moscow Mule
Blue Mule Cocktail Recipe
Watermelon Moscow Mule
Easy Keto Moscow Mule Recipe
Fresh Grapefruit Moscow Mule.
Pomegranate Mojito Mocktails
Peach Moscow Mule
Strawberry Mango Moscow Mule
Spicy Jalapeno Basil Moscow Mule - The Short Order Cook
Refreshing Blackberry Moscow Mule with Mint
Fresh Pineapple Mint Moscow Mules
Bourbon Apple Cider Mule Cocktail Recipe
Kentucky Mule Iced Tea Cocktail
Blueberry Frozen Moscow Mules
The Best Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule
Apple Cinnamon Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe
Cranberry Apple Cider Moscow Mule
Green Apple Irish Mule
The Ultimate Champagne Moscow Mule
Virgin Moscow Mule
Tips for Making Cocktails in Copper Mugs
- Add some fresh herbs.
Often you’ll see fresh mint added to your copper mug cocktails, but feel free to experiment with other herbs. For instance, add a bit of tang with a sprig of rosemary or a couple of basil leaves. I have an Aerogarden so just pluck a few fresh herbs and we're set!
- Break your Moscow Mule mugs out for other holiday drinks.
You don’t need to be in the mood for a Moscow Mule to use those copper mugs. Think about using them for eggnog at Christmas or a cold mint julep for the Kentucky Derby.
- Garnish with citrus other than lime.
A wedge of lime may be the most common garnish for a Moscow Mule, but give your cocktails a twist with other citrus garnishes like orange, lemon, or grapefruit.
- Try alcohol other than vodka to mix things up from the classic Moscow Mule.
Almost any alcohol can be used instead of vodka if you prefer. Some favorites include dark rum (which makes it a Dark ‘n’ Stormy), gin (which makes it a Gin Buck), or bourbon (which makes it a Kentucky Mule).
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll see a lot of rumors around the internet suggesting that the direct contact of acidic foods and liquids with the copper can cause some metal to leach into the drink, leading to copper toxicity.
In reality, you’d need to leave acidic ingredients (of a pH less than 6) in a copper mug for hours at a time, and then drink one of these drinks every day for decades before you’d run the risk of copper toxicity. Copper mugs are safe to use for your favorite cocktail whether they are lined or an unlined copper mug.
Absolutely! In fact, doesn’t a warm hot toddy in a copper mug sound like a great winter drink? The only caution is that because copper conducts heat, the mug can get very warm.
Not every copper mug is a solid copper mug. Most often you’ll find mugs that are stainless steel with a copper coating, or mugs made with copper alloys. If you want to be traditional, look for one that is pure copper.