Copper mugs are a festive and practical way to drink many delicious cocktails, most notably the Moscow mule. Copper mug drinks look great, and the handles make ice-cold drinks more pleasant to drink, too. Many people have speculated that the mugs change the taste of drinks slightly because of oxidation, though the jury is still out on how true that is. Either way, there’s something special about drinking a mule in its dedicated vessel. Here are six drinks that pair well with copper mugs.
1. Classic Moscow Mule
Now famous, this is the ultimate copper mug drink. Some say the drink was invented in 1941 specifically to sell a batch of mugs brought over from Russia. Composed of ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka, this refreshing drink is perfect for a hot day. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you can try variations on the classic, like adding watermelon for summer or apple cider for fall.
2. Mint Julep
Mint juleps are often served in glasses or silver cups, but copper is a great option, too. This simple drink traditionally uses bourbon as a base, but you can add vodka for a lighter option. The only other ingredients needed are simple syrup and muddled fresh mint leaves. For a spring party, consider adding lemonade.
3. Dark ‘n Stormy
A dark ‘n stormy is similar to a mule but uses rum as the liquor. This is the perfect drink for aspiring pirates on an island vacation. The ginger beer tastes excellent and has stomach-settling properties, ideal for recovering from a hot day or a large meal. It’s important to note that ginger beer and ginger ale are not the same. Ginger ale is a soda, and although it can make tasty drinks, you won’t get the same depth of flavor as ginger beer is fermented. It also typically has a stronger ginger kick.
4. Gin and Tonic
This classic cocktail is terrific in a copper mug and also uses lime juice to add flavor. All you need is a high-quality gin, tonic, lime juice, and ice. Like some of the drinks above, you can mix it up and keep your taste buds excited. Try adding strawberries and black pepper for an exciting combination or cucumber and basil for a spa-like beverage.
If you love grapefruit, then a greyhound is the perfect choice for your mugs. The basic recipe is just grapefruit juice, vodka, and ice. This drink is quick to make and has a strong, sour flavor without being too sweet. You can also add coarse salt to the rim to balance out the fruity taste. If you prefer something sweeter, you can add simple syrup and serve it at brunch.
6. Sweet Surrender
Effervescent cocktails usually come to mind when thinking of metal mugs, but this dessert cocktail is a nice alternative. The mixture of sweetened condensed milk, rum, chocolate bitters, allspice, coffee, and cinnamon make for an excellent holiday drink. A shaker makes the drink frothy and blended, but you can rig one at home if you don’t have your own yet.
Making drinks at home can save a lot of money and allow for better conversation and fewer distractions. The drinks above are all easy enough to make for beginners and delicious enough that you may not miss your local bartender. Make sure you care for your mugs by hand washing them and not using abrasive cleaners or sponges. In addition, dry your cups thoroughly, so they don’t begin to oxidize. You’ll be happy you kept them out of the dishwasher when your friends marvel at how shiny they are.