The Only Vodka You Should Really Be Using In Your Moscow Mule

Moscow Mules are a classic cocktail that might just be the perfect hot weather beverage. The drink consists of vodka, ginger beer (not ginger ale), and lime juice, and it's often served with a lime or mint garnish (via Esquire). 

A traditional Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug. Why copper? First of all, the copper mug is a part of history, dating back to 1941, when the Mule was purportedly invented by Jack Morgan, the owner of LA British pub Cock 'n' Bull (via Webstaurant). Rumor has it that Morgan had a girlfriend who owned a copper company, so his new cocktail and her copper mugs were a perfect pairing (via Liquor.com). The copper mug lasted, however, due to its impeccable taste and temperature-regulating traits — essentially your drink is extra icy and extra fizzy when you serve it in copper.

But there's one more thing you should know when seeking that perfect gingery cocktail, and that's to understand how the vodka you are using can affect the drink experience. Just ask Casey Metzger, a professional bartending consultant and the founder of Top Shelf Services, who spoke with Mashed about mastering the Moscow Mule. According to Metzger, "Most don't realize that quality vodka is the engine behind a great Moscow Mule. The smoother the vodka, the better when making Moscow Mules, as that smoothness allows the other flavors, such as the lime and ginger, to shine."

Artisan craftsmanship and local ingredients make the best Moscow Mules

Metzger knows his Moscow Mules and is a huge fan of using a great quality vodka to perfect his recipe. Based in Utah, Metzger favors a high-quality brand many of us have never heard of before. Speaking of his team, "We like to work with the local Five Wives Vodka from Ogden's Own Distillery," Metzger explained. "It's a great product made with prized water from the Wasatch mountains, making it very smooth. It's also distilled from corn spirit rather than potato, which tends to be more delicate and provide a subtle sweetness." Five Wives is a local favorite in Salt Lake City and is a corn-based gluten-free vodka distilled to 40 percent (80 proof) alcohol. The company uses a stainless steel column still and Utah mountain spring water for this premium vodka (via Five Wives Vodka). 

If you can't try the Utah-based brand, you may be more familiar with some other premium vodka names, such as Ketel One or Grey Goose, or the potato vodka Chopin (via The Spruce Eats). According to Distiller, other premium vodkas made from corn include Tito's, Cutler's, Prairie Organic, and Crystal Head Vodka (which is actually filtered through Herkimer diamonds). Whichever brand you choose, the point is to find a vodka that is smooth without needing a flavor to mellow it out.

Quality ingredients will yield a drink that you'll enjoy, so get your copper mug ready and test out that upgraded Moscow Mule this weekend.