First things first, the copper mug with the Moscow mule is a must. It is the same way martini should only be served in a martini glass.
So why are Moscow mules in copper cups? While the copper mug is less fancy, the tradition was born practically for advertising and now become the standard way of serving the cocktail. As the legend has it, John Martin, the 1940s president of G.F. Heublein & Brothers, the USA based spirits and East Coast food, introduced this classy way of drinking the cocktail. Having earlier bought a vodka distillery called , the now famous, Smirnoff, he visit a friend, Jack Morgan, who owned a pub called Cock’n Bull in Hollywood, lamenting that the vodka isn’t selling. Coincidentally, Morgan complained about his lack of sale for his side hobby of Ginger beer and unnamed woman too joined in, this one on copper mugs. Thus the story goes that the three of them come up with the drinks, the cocktail of vodka, ginger beer and a dash of lime, served in copper mugs.
The Moscow mule soon becomes one of the most popular drinks in the 1950s, supported by a viral marketing campaign, with ads featuring various celebrities of the time enjoying the drink. The tradition becomes the norm now as such. Nothing fancy, not even based in Russia, just a man in the USA with a bright idea. It’s a delicious cocktail, overly hyped by a successful advertising and now become the standards in pubs and bars across the state.