The first thing I ever ordered at a real cocktail bar was a Moscow Mule. It was pretty early on in the still-vibrant cocktail revival and the bartender recommended the mule as a good entry-level drink: The flavors—ginger and lime—were familiar to me, the spirit was certainly not overwhelming for a novice and also it came in an awesome copper cup.
Whatever cup I drank it out of was probably inauthentic though. The very first Moscow Mules were served in a limited edition run of copper mugs brought over from Russia. And the family that made those original mugs has decided to get back into the mule mug business after 74 years. Avid mule drinkers can get their hands on another limited edition run of the cups made to the same specifications as the ones brought over from the Soviet Union in 1941. And this time they don’t need to steal them from the bars.
The rebirth of the original vessel seems like a good time to unearth the history of the drink itself. Here are five things you might not know about how the Moscow Mule came to be: