Unlike wintry eggnog or a refreshing summer Paloma, the Moscow Mule isn’t designed for just one season. The combination of vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime is ideal for year-round drinking. Like its cousin the Dark and Stormy, it’s a “buck,” a drink made with alcohol, citrus, and ginger beer or ginger ale. And like many classic cocktails, it comes with a story: In this case, three men (including Jack Morgan of famed Hollywood tavern the Cock’n Bull) found themselves in the early 1940s with an abundance of unsellable ginger beer and Smirnoff vodka, two products which hadn’t yet caught on in the U.S. According to Punch, “When placed in its now-classic copper mug, the drink effectively became a marketing device, representing, most notably, the first time that a specific drink had been used to advertise a spirit.”
Good ginger beer, such as Fever-Tree, is a must here since it’s the primary flavor of the cocktail. Those copper mugs help keep the drink cold, but you can just as well serve this classic Moscow Mule recipe in a Collins or highball glass. And there’s no need to buy a fancy machine to produce pebble or crushed ice at home; standard cubes will work, as will small ones made with a silicone mold like this one.