We’ve all seen that copper mug on the table at a bar. It’s almost always filled with a Moscow Mule.

This classic cocktail is on every bar menu, and it’s fairly simple to make it. With just three ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, it’s a drink that so many people love and order. This classic drink is always served in a copper mug—why?

There are a few reasons, and one of the main ones is temperature. Copper mugs have a superior thermal conductor, which means that they respond to the temperature of what’s inside. If the contents within the mug are cold, it will keep the drink cooler, same with a warm drink. When a Moscow Mule is poured into the copper mug, the cup itself becomes chilled.

Another reason for this specific mug is many Moscow Mule drinkers believe the copper enhances the flavor. This cocktail is fizzy and has a lot of carbonation from the ginger beer. Imbibers think the mug brings out the spiciness from the ginger beer and makes it more refreshing.

Moscow Mules have tons of riffs—people who don’t enjoy vodka switch the spirit out for something else. A Mexican Mule is made with tequila, and a Kentucky Mule contains bourbon. An Irish Mule has Irish whiskey while a Jamaican Mule has spiced rum. Depending on what mood you are in, you can opt for any spirit. That is the beauty of the Moscow Mule.

Next time you’re in the mood for the classic vodka cocktail, here is our favorite recipe.

Classic Cocktail Moscow Mule

Classic Cocktail Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Vodka
  • 1/6 oz. Lime Juice
  • 4 oz. Ginger Beer

Preparation: Combine the vodka and ginger beer in a copper mug over ice. Add the lime juice and stir gently. Garnish with a lime slice and mint sprig.