Solid copper mugs may be on your mind for a number of reasons. You may be on the verge of buying a set. Maybe somebody served you a Moscow Mule at a dinner party, and you like the idea of having your own set of Moscow Mule mugs. Or maybe you instantly thought these cute cups would make a perfect gift for friends or family.
Before you go buying some solid copper mugs, it’s important to educate yourself. Learning a bit more about these mugs will help you make a more informed decision when you come to buy your own. There’s nothing worse than quickly making a purchase only to realize you didn’t get the perfect model for you.
So here are eleven facts about solid copper mugs that you need to know before you buy a set for you, friends, or family:
#1: Solid copper mugs are not friends with timesaving gadgets in your kitchen
Inside the microwave or dishwasher are “no-go areas” for copper mugs. Don’t ever heat your Moscow Mule cup. In fact, you should do the opposite and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the drinks. It will make them just that little bit more refreshing when you take that first sip of a Moscow Mule.
As for the dishwasher, the harsh cleaning process can damage the nickel or steel lining of the mug. Trust me, Moscow Mules are not improved by having bits of nickel or steel floating around in the drink. I know from experience. You’ll have to wash your copper cups by hand. Learn how here.
#2: Moscow Mule mugs are easy to look after
All you need is 2 minutes with soap and water. Wash the mugs immediately after use and then dry them with a cloth. This quick rinse and dry will keep your solid copper mugs clean and lasting for years. Also, remember these rules:
- Don’t use your copper mugs for hot beverages. Copper absorbs and retains the heat from the drink; a cold drink will give you a cold mug while a hot drink may burn your hand.
- Don’t drink sodas out of copper mugs
- Don’t leave liquid in the mugs overnight
#3: Size varies from mug to mug
The standard Moscow Mule drinks measures roughly 14 oz. or 400 ml of liquid. Best be on the safe side and invest in a mug that is 16oz to 20z in size, otherwise, you will have to recalculate your measurements and ingredients. And that’s never going to be fun in the middle of a fiesta. If you’re feeling the Moscow Mule, then you can get a little creative with sizes and shapes. Here are three fun ways to change up your copper cup:
#4: Copper cups alter the drink
While enjoying a Moscow Mule out of a solid copper mug, you may notice that the ginger beer will fizz more than usual, the zest of the lime will be stronger, and the taste of the vodka will be boosted. Copper completely changes the taste of a Moscow Mule. That’s why you need a special cup to properly drink one of these bad boys.
The drink will also stay cooler due to the thermal conductivity of the copper. A nice bonus is that the ice will hold its shape and won’t melt and dilute your drink. A solid copper mug engages all of your senses:
- Touch – from the cold metal
- Smell – the copper enhances the aroma of the drink
- Taste – the copper will boost the ingredients of the Moscow Mule
- Sight – the glistening copper looks so damn pretty
#5: Copper Mugs are investment pieces
Like a good copper pot or a cast iron pan, if you look after them, they will last a lifetime. Like any long-term purchase, if you buy right, you will only have to buy these once in your life. You’re best off spending a little more on Moscow Mule mugs when you first buy them, as the good ones will last quite some time.
Your only longevity worry will be Jenny from down the street trying to “accidentally” borrow one or three of your copper cups after she gets a buzz at the neighborhood Halloween party.
Even if your copper mugs have developed “Patina” all is not lost. Using a combination of salt with lime or lemon juice, or vinegar and baking soda, you can get rid of the stains and have them looking as new as the day you bought them. Give the copper mugs a good scrub using the above mixture on a toothbrush and some elbow grease, and you’ll be amazed how easy they are to restore.
#6: Solid Copper Mugs are completely safe
Many consumers harbor irrational fears that copper will leach from the surface of the mug into the drink, causing a metallic taste or even worse: entering their bloodstream. These fears are as exaggerated as they are unfounded. Copper is a mineral that is found in the rocks and streams in the mountains, in many types of seafood and is naturally occurring in the human body.
Copper leaching into the drink is increased with hot beverages, but is virtually impossible with cold drinks. You have absolutely nothing to worry about from a health standpoint when downing one of the many Moscow Mule variations in a copper cup.
#7: Copper Mugs Are Healthy
Centuries ago, the Romans, the ancient Greeks, the Egyptians and the Aztecs used copper compounds to treat burns and ear infections. Copper is now making a comeback in modern sanitary practices with many hospitals beginning to use copper for surfaces that are touched regularly and can thus serve as breeding grounds for microbes. Copper is very effective at killing off these nasty infections.
So not only does the mug provide a refreshing drink, but it can also keep you healthy. Keyword being can. Although, you may not feel too “healthy” if you down one too many Moscow Mules in one evening. Don’t shoot the messenger ;(
#8: Serendipity made the Copper Mugs famous
Sophie Berezinski (a Russian immigrant) came to California in the early 1940’s with 2,000 copper mugs produced in her father’s copper factory in Russia. She spent months hauling the mugs around Los Angeles trying to sell them, but was turned away at every door.
She finally sold the mugs when she knocked on the door of the “Cock N Bull Bar” in Hollywood (the birthplace of the Moscow Mule). The owners were looking for a new twist on this new drink they had concocted and wanted a vessel that would catch attention and start conversations. Learn more about the history of the Moscow Mule here.
#9: The original Copper Mug has made a comeback
The popularity of the Moscow Mule waned in the Cold War years (even though Smirnoff Vodka is not Russian, it’s from Connecticut). However, Berezinski’s (the woman who brought the Copper Mugs to the US) grandson is keeping the legacy alive through the Moscow Copper Company. They manufacture mugs that are 100% copper and, for the history buffs out there, the designs are faithful to the original 2,000 copper mugs that Berezinski’s grandmother lugged around Los Angeles in 1941 looking for a buyer.
#10: The mug is not only for Moscow Mules
Any other cocktail you can think of from Rum Punch, Screw Drivers, Margaritas, or Mojitos are improved by being served in a copper mug. It’s not only for adults either; kids really enjoy drinking cold milk, juice or smoothies out of the mugs. There’s just something cool about copper.
#11: Copper cups are the only way to get the full experience from drinking a Moscow Mule
Of course, you can serve and drink your Moscow Mule in a plastic cup or a highball glass, but certain drinks are meant to be served in a certain way. Maybe you have the following odd combinations served by somebody who has just moved into a new place or hasn’t washed the dishes in a while:
- Wine from a coffee cup?
- Beer in a wine glass?
Quirky but you wouldn’t do it more than once, would you? I know I wouldn’t. It’s just not right. Plus, you don’t get the copper fizz and unique flavor without the copper. You need the copper! Without solid copper mugs, you don’t have a REAL Moscow Mule on your hands. Without the mug, it’s just another cocktail. Not a Moscow Mule.