Still one of our favorite cocktails, the Moscow Mule is best enjoyed when served in a traditional copper mug. The copper mug is also great for serving up other popular cocktails, not just because copper helps keep a cocktail colder for longer, but because it also gives us that icy-cold sensation when taking a sip.In this article we review ten of the best Moscow Mule mugs as well as delving into a little of the history of this favorite drink and its copper companion. We also provide some tips on what to look for when choosing Moscow Mule mugs, how to clean them, and discuss some of the safety concerns around drinking from copper mugs.
Made from pure copper with a traditional hammered finish and welded handles, the Advanced Mixology Moscow Mule copper mugs with wooden coasters are our best pick of the handcrafted copper mugs.
The A29 handcrafted Moscow Mule mugs are our pure copper budget pick, coming in a set with copper straws, copper shot glass and a recipe booklet.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Moscow Mule Mugs
- 1. Advanced Mixology Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
- 2. A29 Handcrafted Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
- 3. Eximius Power Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
- 4. OLIA DESIGN RV Hammered Copper Moscow Mule Mug
- 5. KoolBrew Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
- 6. B. WEISS MUGS Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
- 7. Krown Kitchen Moscow Mule Copper Mug Set
- 8. Jacky's Original Handmade Copper Moscow Mule Mug
- 9. Fisher Home Products Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
- 10. Staglife Moscow Mule Mugs
- Things to Consider Before Buying Moscow Mule Mugs
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Moscow Mule Mugs
1. Advanced Mixology Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
The Advanced Mixology Moscow Mule copper mugs have been hand wrought and polished from pure copper. These 16 fl. oz mugs have thick walls with a hammered finish and the shaped handles have been welded rather than riveted to the mugs.
This set of four mugs also comes with four wooden coasters and a gift box. The mugs have an inner and outer lacquer coating to prevent them from tarnishing and have been hand manufactured in India. Some buyers have received these cups scratched or dented and the lacquer coating may not last as long as it could do, leaving the copper at more risk of tarnish.
2. A29 Handcrafted Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
Made from pure food grade copper, the A29 handcrafted Moscow Mule mugs is a set of four 16 fl. oz hand hammered mugs with a shot glass, four copper straws and a recipe booklet. These also come gift boxed. The mugs have been externally lacquered and should be washed by hand.
The brass handles on the mugs have been welded for durability and these are also third party tested for quality and safety and come with a satisfaction guarantee. The copper lacquer may not last as long as expected and as with any copper, the mugs will be prone to tarnishing with use. The odd buyer has also received this set without the copper straws.
3. Eximius Power Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
The Eximius Power Moscow Mule mugs are made from pure food safe copper and hold 16 fl. oz. These mugs are tumbler design - without handles - and made from thicker 20 gauge copper to help keep drinks colder for longer. Handcrafted with a hammered finish, these are also coated with food grade lacquer.
This set of two mugs comes with two copper straws and jiggers, as well as a satisfaction guarantee. As these do not contain handles, it is more difficult to hold the cold mugs for any length of time and unlike other Moscow Mule mugs, these do not come gift boxed.
4. OLIA DESIGN RV Hammered Copper Moscow Mule Mug
The set of four RV Moscow Mule mugs are copper plated with a nickel lining to keep drinks cooler for longer. These mugs have a hammered finish with a contoured brass handle which has been welded. They also have a larger 18 fl. oz capacity.Some buyers have been confused as to whether these are solid copper or copper coated, but as a small number have experienced copper coating coming off to show steel underneath, these do seem to be plated rather than solid copper mugs. Some of these mugs may not ‘stand’ straight when you place them on the table.
5. KoolBrew Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
Made from pure food safe copper, the set of two KoolBrew Moscow Mule mugs are handcrafted and are hammer finished. These are also food safe lacquered and have brass welded handles. Able to hold 16 fl. oz, these Indian manufactured mugs also come gift boxed and with a satisfaction guarantee.There is a chance that these mugs may arrive with dents or minor cosmetic damage and the odd buyer has received these mugs with the handles already broken off.
6. B. WEISS MUGS Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
The set of four B. WEISS MUGS Moscow Mule mugs are handmade from pure copper and have a hammered finish and welded handle. With a 16 fl. oz capacity, these mugs are advertised as not being lacquer coated, but it appears they are in fact coated. This set of mugs come gift boxed along with four wooden coasters, four copper straws, a shot glass and a spoon.These mugs can be bent on arrival and a number of buyers have been disappointed with the overall quality of this set of mugs.
7. Krown Kitchen Moscow Mule Copper Mug Set
With a double wall construction of a copper outer and 304 stainless steel inner, the Krown Kitchen Moscow Mule set is designed to keep drinks colder for longer while reducing the risk of oxidation seen in the inners of pure copper mugs. The ergonomic brass handles are welded to the 16 fl. oz cups and although this set of four mugs are double walled, the outers will develop condensation quickly and the odd buyer has not been keen with the workmanship of the handles.
8. Jacky's Original Handmade Copper Moscow Mule Mug
Able to hold 20 fl. oz, the Jacky’s Original Moscow Mule mugs come as a set of four and have a stainless steel inner and polished and hammered copper exterior. Although this set is supposed to come with a recipe book, some buyers have not received the book. The book is also very limited on recipes, so you may be disappointed with it. A number of buyers consider that the quality of these is not as good as other Moscow Mule mugs.
9. Fisher Home Products Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
With a 16 fl. oz capacity, the Fisher Home Products Moscow Mule mugs have a hammered finish. There is some confusion as to whether this set of four mugs are solid copper with a food safe lining, or whether they are steel/nickel construction with a copper plating on the outer. Whether plating or lacquered copper, the outer of the mugs can begin to wear quite quickly. The brass handles are welded rather than riveted and these also come with a satisfaction guarantee.
10. Staglife Moscow Mule Mugs
The handcrafted Staglife Moscow Mule mugs have a matte black exterior and rose gold copper smooth rims for more comfortable sipping. This set of two 16 fl. oz mugs are made from high gauge copper and have a hammered finish along with a food safe lacquer. These mugs also come boxed and with a satisfaction guarantee.Some owners are disappointed that the matte black finish can begin to wear quite quickly, especially if the mugs are placed in the dishwasher, although the manufacturer does advise that these are hand washed only.
Things to Consider Before Buying Moscow Mule Mugs
Copper Moscow Mule mugs give an extra cool sensation when drinking from them as the copper quickly reduces in temperature to match that of the drink. The copper also acts as an insulator – helping keep your cocktail cool in summer.
Cold copper can help increase the bubbles in carbonated drinks (such as the ginger beer) which gives a fizzier Moscow Mule. Copper is also able to enhance the citrus flavor and reduce the acidity of the lime which compliments the spiciness of the ginger beer.
It is also suggested that when the vodka touches the copper walls, it causes the copper to begin to oxidize which can boost aroma and enhance the taste of the vodka.
Although copper has been used to drink from for thousands of years, it was only in the 1940s that it became part of the Moscow Mule cocktail. There are a number of tales as to how the Moscow Mule was born, with a popular version being of a vodka seller with a surplus of vodka and his friend, a LA bar owner with a surplus of his own brand of ginger beer coming together to create the Moscow Mule cocktail. The bartender’s girlfriend also owned a business that manufactured making copper goods! The Moscow Mule soon grew in popularity as Hollywood celebrities endorsed it throughout the 1950s and 1960s and it also became known as a Smirnoff Mule.
A typical Moscow Mule is 2 oz of vodka, 4 to 6 oz of cold ginger beer and 1 oz of lime juice served over ice with a lime wedge. The lime juice should be added to the mug first, followed by ice, vodka and ginger beer. It should then be gently stirred and then served.
There are many alternatives to the Moscow Mule, why not try a Kentucky Mule – just replace vodka with bourbon and add a sprig of mint to garnish or mix up a Dark and Stormy with rum instead of vodka.
What to Look for When Choosing Moscow Mule Mugs
Although some mugs are advertised as being made from pure copper, they may also contain tin, nickel or other metals. Higher gauge coppers such as 20 gauge upwards copper sheets are better quality and produce a thicker mug. Copper mugs are often made in India, a country with a longstanding artisan reputation for copper production and artisan mugs are usually made by craftsmen with ten or more years craft experience.
Handles help keep the heat from your hands away from your cold drink, and handles should always be welded rather than riveted. Not only are rivets bacterial breeding grounds, they are much more likely to break than a welded handle.
The application of a food grade/FDA approved lacquer will help protect the copper from oxidation/tarnishing and can also reduce some of the risk of copper leaching into the drink.
Safety of Copper Mugs
Copper is an essential trace mineral that the body needs to help absorb iron and produce energy. Although a deficiency in copper is unusual, low levels may contribute to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a higher risk of osteoporosis. Copper imbalances have also been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
There are concerns that copper should not come into contact with foods which have a pH below 6. Foods with these pH values are acidic foods such as fruit juices and wines, as well as Moscow Mules which have a lower pH. When acidic foods or liquids are in contact with copper or copper alloys, the acid can cause copper to leach into foods.
The FDA U.S Public Health Service (2013) Food Code says that copper and copper alloys may not be used in contact with foods that have pH below 6, and in line with the Food Code in 2017, Iowa issued a statement that pure copper vessels should not be used to serve drinks in.
There is debate though as to whether the acidity of a Moscow Mule drink, along with the short time spent drinking it is enough to leach out the 30 milligrams of copper per liter that is necessary to cause copper toxicity. Acute copper poisoning is rare, but it is known that long term exposure to copper can contribute to severe copper poisoning, causing liver failure or even death.
If you want to avoid your drink from coming into contact with copper but do not want to serve up Moscow Mules in glasses, then look for mugs that have non-copper linings, such as stainless steel or nickel.
Caring for Your Copper Mugs
After using, copper mugs should be cleaned with warm water and gentle dish soap only and dried with a soft cotton cloth, rather than being left to air dry. If mugs are left to air dry, then the copper will begin to oxidize, causing them to tarnish.
Once the mugs have been dried, you can use a second soft cloth to polish them up.
Although in theory, a pure copper mug should be dishwasher safe, avoid placing copper mugs in the dishwasher as the soap and heat of the dishwasher can weaken any coatings and increase tarnishing. It can also increase the risk of dents to the delicate copper.
Once mugs become tarnished, a typical copper/metal cleaner can be used, or you can dip a lemon half into salt and gently rub the lemon and salt onto the surface of the copper. Add salt as needed and keep rubbing until the tarnish disappears. You can then rinse off the lemon juice and salt with warm water and dry immediately.
You can also make a solution from three parts baking soda to one part vinegar and apply this paste to the mugs with a sponge. After five to ten minutes, use the sponge to scrub the mug in a circular motion and this will remove the tarnish. They can then be thoroughly rinsed and dried off.
In this article we have looked at why copper is important in the body as well as why there are some concerns about using copper mugs to serve Moscow Mules in. We also looked at one of the more popular origins of the Moscow Mule and just in case you are not that keen on vodka, we have also mentioned a couple of cocktail alternatives to the Moscow Mule.We hope you have enjoyed this article and our reviews of the best Moscow Mule mugs, and that whether you prefer to stick with a traditional pure copper mug or prefer mugs with a non-copper lining, our reviews have helped you choose those new mugs to really make your next Moscow Mule kick!