23 February 2014

This evening’s cocktail – Moscow mule!!

Made with lime juice, Smirnoff vodka and ginger beer. Garnishes can include wedge of lime or even mint sprig but I have none 🙂

I did make up for the lack of proper garnishes by serving in the proper glass for this drink – a copper mug!

This cocktail has an unique history. There was a Martin in the 30s who was struggling to sell vodka in USA (he had bought this business from a Kunett who had fled Russia a few years back). Whiskey was the drink of choice in US. Vodka was little appreciated those days. He was a great sales guy though. He even sold it illegally as “White Whiskey – no smell no taste”!! One day while commiserating with a Morgan who was himself struggling to sell something he had started brewing – ginger beer in his Cock-’n-Bull store, they concocted this drink – by essentially mixing two failed drinks. To add to the aura, they added another element – it had to be had in a copper mug only – which by the way was a failing business for another friend of theirs.

Professional bartenders hated it. The people loved it! It became – especially in LA – in the early forties, the most popular cocktail. And thus Smirnoff vodka got a boost in this country. So three failed businesses added up to an outstanding success!

There are stories of Martin’s legendary selling skills. Evidently, he would get a bartender to mix a Moscow Mule for him and then request a picture to be taken with him. Promptly he would fish out his Polaroid camera that he had invested in for this purpose and have a picture of the bartender with the drink. And then he would simply finish the drink and walk to the next bar and tell the bartender there that this drink was the biggest hit in the previous bar. And show the picture as a proof. And kept repeating it!!!


Posted February 23, 2014 by Rajib Roy in category "Cocktails

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