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Best Moscow Mule Mugs

If you’re new to the world of Moscow Mules, you’re in for a treat. But before you start measuring out vodka and looking for ginger beer, you need to purchase the traditional mug for this rather potent bevvie. Yes, the hammered copper mug dates back to the 1940s and rumor has it, was used by a salesman from Smirnoff to promote their product. Pics of smiling bar-keeps holding the copper vessel would be shown to rival establishments who caught on pretty quick and decided that they too, needed to be serving up this tasty beverage. So, vodka was sold and the mug soon became synonymous with the Mule. Today, there are any number of shapes and styles of this iconic mug. We’ve chosen 5 that we think remain true to the tale, in terms of fabrication while still offering a somewhat modern twist.

Our Top Picks for Moscow Mule Mugs

Moscow-Mix set of 4 16-ounce 100% Copper Mugs with Accessories: For The Wannabe Bartender

Overview:

Material: Pure Copper

Mugs: 4

Capacity: 16-ounces

Lining: Copper

So, you’re ready to dazzle friends and family with your bartending skills and feel you’ve perfected the classic Moscow Mule down to the last squeeze of lime. But not so fast. Unless you’re dispensing into the classic copper mug, impressions may be mixed. That’s where these Moscow-Mix pure copper mugs save the day. Each of the 4 copper mugs holds 16-ounces and not only are they hand-crafted from pure copper, the manufacturer has chosen to retain the traditional copper interior – renowned for enhancing the crispness of the Mule and keeping the drink colder, longer. A rolled lip provides a softer edge for sipping, while the generously sized, welded handle allows for a comfortable grip and adds a little extra strength to the mug. Now, if you’re going to do the Mule right, presentation is key so you’ll need all the accessories that make you look like you know what you’re doing. That’s why this vendor has included 4 copper straws and a copper shot glass.  – you’ll be pouring and serving up drinks like a pro. What I love, is that it arrives gift-boxed – so it’s a fun gift for house-warmings, weddings, birthdays, and more.  Hand-wash only with this copper mug.

Pros:

  • 100% food-grade copper
  • Classic, hand-crafted hammered finish
  • Copper interior for enhanced flavors
  • Extras include 4 copper straws and copper shot glass
  • Welded handle for extra strength

Cons:

  • Not tarnish-proof

If you’re into trying out new and authentic flavors, this set of pure copper mugs with accessories is the perfect intro to preparing the ultimate Moscow Mule.

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Staglife set of 2 16-ounce 100% Copper Mugs: For Those with a Modern Design Aesthetic

Overview:

Material: Pure Copper

Mugs: 2

Capacity: 16-ounces

Lining: Copper

If your goal is to add the classic Moscow Mule to your bartending repertoire, you’ll want to make sure it’s done right; from the perfect measure of vodka, to the mint garnish, to the vessel in which it’s served. And with this particular cocktail, the presentation is every bit as important as the ingredients. Now, Staglife has opted to give their copper mugs a modern sensibility by doing away with the flashy overall sheen. In place of the hammered copper, you’ve got a rather striking black matte finish with an elegant rose gold, rolled copper rim. But one can only mess with tradition so much before you lose the charm – that’s why they’ve kept the classic copper interior. It not only looks great against the matte black, but it’s known to add a little extra zing to the Mule flavor. And because these mugs are hand-crafted, they bring a unique, custom look to any bar top. They hold a generous 16-ounces, and the handles are actually electro-plated onto the body to prevent the leaks that can result with rivets. This particular design comes in a two-pack – ideal for sharing a perfectly prepared, ice-chilled bevvie with someone special.

Pros:

  • Includes two 100% copper mugs
  • Modern, black matte outer finish
  • Copper interior for enhanced flavors
  • Rose-gold color rolled rim for smoother sip
  • Handle electro-plated to mug to prevent leaks

Cons:

  • Not suitable for hot drinks

If you love Moscow Mules but find the copper mug a little too flash, this beautifully crafted matte-finish option is a stunning alternative that still respects the tradition of the original design.

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Treasure staream set of 4 16-ounce 100% Copper Mugs with Stainless-Steel Lining: For Those on a Budget

Overview:

Material: Copper exterior, stainless-steel interior

Mugs: 4

Capacity: 16-ounces

Lining: Stainless-steel

You’re going to love serving your guests this classic with a twist. No, we’re not talking about the traditional Moscow Mule cocktail served with a twist of lime; we’re talking about the materials used to make this iconic mug. You see, opinions are divided on whether drinking from a copper-lined mug can pose a hazard to your health. Most experts agree that the minimal amount of copper you would consume by drinking from this type of vessel is minimal, but some manufactures have opted to line their mugs with nickel or stainless-steel, to allay fears. Treasure staream is one of those vendors, and they’ve chosen to use stainless-steel for their mug interior in place of copper. While a Mule afficionado might argue it detracts from the flavor (its said copper delivers a crisper flavor to the drink), others might disagree. Regardless of opinions, there’s no question this 16-ounce copper mug is a beauty. Hand-crafted, it features double-wall construction that keeps drinks icy-cold for up to 2 hours and welded handles that provide added stability, and won’t let you down over time. This beautifully gift-boxed four-pack also includes 4 copper straws, and a copper jigger for always perfect measures.

Pros:

  • Includes four 100% copper mugs
  • Stainless-steel interior
  • Double-walled to keep drinks cold
  • Extras include 4 copper straws and copper shot glass
  • Handle electro-plated to mug to prevent leaks

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher proof

If you have concerns about drinking from a copper-lined mug then you’ll appreciate this classic design that’s been reimagined with a stainless-steel interior.

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BonBon set of 4 14-ounce 100% Copper with Mugs Nickel Lining: For Those Who Appreciate Quality Design

Overview:

Material: Pure Copper, Nickel

Mugs: 4

Capacity: 14-ounces

Lining: Nickel

Sometimes its hard to improve upon perfection. Particularly when it refers to a decades-old design that has become somewhat of an institution with Moscow Mule fans from across the country. Yes, we’re talking about the beloved copper mug. But we think this BonBon rework of the traditional design may be, dare we say, an upgrade to the original. You see, its still hand-crafted from 100% pure copper, however it now features a large, rather elegant looking brass handle with comfortable thumb-rest, and nickel-plated interior for worry-free Mule consumption. It also still retains the hand-hammered finish associated with the classic mug design, and the stocky barrel-shaped body. And it is still the perfect mug for keeping your cold beverages super-chilled for longer than any glass vessel can do. But this design includes a seamless interior and handles that are welded into place versus using rivets – which can break down and result in leaks and drips over time.  Best of all, because they come in a handy pack of four, you just know there’s a party about to happen. What else to love? How about that unlike most other Moscow Mule mugs, these ones are dish-washer safe (top rack only, please).

Pros:

  • Includes four 100% copper mugs
  • Nickel-plated interior
  • Brass handle with handy thumb rest
  • Classic, hand-crafted hammered finish
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Not suitable for hot drinks

If you’d like to see a new take on the original Moscow Mule copper mug, this revamp with nickel lining and perfectly sized handle, is worth a look.

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Kamojo set of 2 16-ounce 100% Copper Mugs: For Those Who Like to Break with Tradition

Overview:

Material: Pure Copper

Mugs: 2

Capacity: 16-ounces

Lining: Copper

So, you love the potent punch of a well-made Moscow Mule, but would prefer a copper mug with a little more finesse, and a lot less of the traditional tankard look. Is that right? Well, we think this hand-crafted KaMojo copper vessel is the perfect compromise. Just like the classic Mule mug, this design is made from pure copper – inside and out – for a crisper beverage flavor and longer cooling capability. Unlike the original version, it features beautiful hand-embossing versus the classic hammered finish. And in spite of holding a full 16-ounces of fluid, they’ve been able to swap out the rounder, squat shape for a more elegant, tapered look that works well with any type of chilled beverage. A beautifully arced handle is invisibly welded to the body of the cup and simply adds to its clean lines. While an overall protective coating helps preserve its brilliant copper finish, this cup won’t stand up to the heat of a dishwasher and will still require hand-washing / buffing from time to time. Now, for those who love a bonus, this one includes 2 pure copper straws / stir-sticks as well as an eBook with over 35 cocktail recipes.

Pros:

  • Mugs are 100% copper
  • Hand-embossed detailing
  • Food-grade protective coating
  • Invisibly welded copper handle
  • Extras include 2 copper stir-sticks and eBook with recipes

Cons:

  • Not tarnish-proof

If you enjoy how copper enhances the flavor of cocktails, but you want something a little more refined than a tankard, this elegant, hand-embossed mug is the one you’re looking for.

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You May Be Surprised at How Inexpensive Great Bar-Ware Can Be

While you may think our dazzling array of copper mugs look like they may be a little too steep for your entertaining budget, they’re actually quite reasonably priced.  All land in the $14 to $16 range per piece, and while that may be a little more expensive than quality glassware, they’re long-wearing and will certainly ramp up your mixology credentials to friends and family. Better still, they serve a purpose by bringing out the best in your cocktails. They keep citrus flavors crisp and acid, while maintaining a longer chill for drinks that taste better when icy cold. Worth a couple extra bucks, right?

Invest in Your Entertaining Style

Having great serving pieces takes the guesswork out of entertaining. Food and beverage aside, having the right platters, utensils, serving boards, and bar accessories helps you host with confidence and makes your invites something your friends all look forward to. That’s why investing in a few unique pieces to up your game, is never a bad idea. And one of the best bangs for your buck has to be top-quality bar-ware. Think about it. Your guests hold it, walk around with it, and enjoy their beverage one sip at a time from it. That’s why the copper mugs we’ve featured are such a perfect investment. They’re inexpensive, provide a wow factor when you hand it to your guest, and they keep their beverage deliciously cold right up to the last sip. Better still, they’ll make the Moscow Mule your signature cocktail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Moscow Mules Served in a Copper Mug?

A copper mug is what the Mule was originally served in, back in the 1940s. Tradition aside, copper does add a special dimension to any cocktail. For one thing, it tends to keep chilled drinks cold, for a longer period of time than other materials. Additionally, the metal seems to add an extra level of crispness to the Mule drink by balancing the acidity with a certain freshness. Hence, it becoming the drinking vessel of choice for this cocktail.

Is it Safe to Drink from Copper?

The debate continues as to whether the chemical reaction between copper and acidic beverages produces sufficient minerals to be a danger to the consumer. It’s generally believed that the trace amounts picked up from copper, are negligible and provide no harmful effect. From the pro side of the argument, our bodies do require a small amount of copper to help make red blood cells. That said, some manufacturers have opted to line their mugs with nickel or stainless-steel to meet public demand.

What is Food-Grade Copper?

Food-grade copper, like any food-grade metal is simply a metal that is safe to use in the preparation or service of foods and beverages.

How Do I Clean Copper Without Using Chemicals?

It makes sense that if you’re eating or drinking from copper dishware, you won’t want to be using chemical cleaners.  For routine maintenance, plan to wash your copper mugs by hand, after each use to prevent pitting and tarnishing. Try using an acidic mix such as lemon and salt or even vinegar and baking soda, to clean and restore your copper’s natural sheen.

Can I Use a Copper Mug for Hot Drinks Such as Specialty Coffees?

No. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and as a result, you’ll find your mug becomes almost too hot to handle. Even with a separate heat-resistant mitt, you’ll probably find sipping from the rim of the cup or using a copper straw to be uncomfortably hot.

Conclusion

Presentation is everything and when it comes to serving alcoholic beverages, no truer words were ever spoken. You’d no more want to drink champagne from a tumbler or sip wine from a china teacup, than fly to the moon. And that’s why the copper mug is so important to the Moscow Mule. It not only looks great, but it enhances the flavors and retains the icy cold temperatures we want from a chilled beverage. Having the right bar equipment – including serving ware – is a big step forward in mastering the art of mixology and by using copper mugs, you show you’ve taken the time to get it right. While the 5 options we’ve shared all look like a standard copper mug, each brings a little extra something to the mix. From the handle design, to the lining, to the accessories that accompany it, to the outer finish. So, pick your cup and get ready to start entertaining.

Photo credit: Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

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