[:en]Since the competition for the most original glass started in cocktail bars, we are no longer surprised by anything. In Piedmont those typical preserving jars are called "burnie" which today is easier to see on the table of a nightclub rather than on grandma's shelves, but we can indulge ourselves endlessly with the list of containers alternative to glasses, including dispensers for soap, tea cups, test tubes and so on and so forth. However, there is one container that is immediately recognizable and above all attributable to the cocktail it houses: the copper cup of the Moscow Mule. Its use, now widespread even in Italy, could mislead less expert observers regarding the content, just as the name of the Cocktail itself could suggest a Russian origin which the mixed drink does not even remotely have.
Its birth is in fact due to the fortunate meeting between two American entrepreneurs, who shared the difficulty in selling, in the United States, two products that they marketed in the rest of the world: Vodka and Ginger Beer. Have you ever heard the expression “unity is strength”? Well, in this case it was more spot on than ever. John G. Martin introduced vodka, Jack Morgan instead his Ginger Beer, the one he just couldn't get off the ground despite being the owner of what was the most popular bar in Hollywood at the time, the Cock'n'Bull Tavern in Sunset Blvd. It was 1941 when they met in a bar in New York, the Chatham, and had the idea of combining the two products and giving rise to a new cocktail, to which they also decided to add a little lime to further push the lively note given by the ginger of Ginger Beer.
As often happens with brilliant ideas, luck also put a little of its own into it. At the same table as the two disheartened entrepreneurs there was also an entrepreneur on the verge of a nervous breakdown: she had a warehouse full of 5-ounce copper cups, each of which had a donkey engraved on it. These cups had to be disposed of. The first Moscow Mule in history was drunk in one of these, and since then it has become almost a fixed ingredient of the new creation.
It was the 1950s that decreed the consecration of the Moscow Mule and above all of Vodka, which finally became popular in America as it had already happened in the rest of the world.
Here is the recipe for a perfect Moscow Mule:
Vodka: 4.5 cl
Ginger Beer: 12.5 cl
Fresh lime juice: 0.5 cl
1 slice of lime.
The procedure is as follows: fill the cup with ice and add the Vodka to the Ginger Beer. Then add the lime juice and garnish with a slice of lime.
We know you're wondering: what about the cucumber? Although there is perhaps not a single Moscow Mule today that comes out without the cucumber slice, this ingredient is absolutely not part of the original recipe. The mistake, if it can be defined as such, arises from the fact that in Russia it is common to serve pickled gherkins in combination with vodka-based drinks.
Original or not, this variation is now tolerated and permitted, as is the practice of adding fresh ginger and a sprig of mint.[:]