The Moscow Mule/Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

By request and for my own curiosity, for my fascination with ginger beer, and most, my compulsion to SCREAM … indoor voice, Michael … deep breath … if you’re going to drink vodka, either admit you simply want to mainline alcohol (not a judgment! I’m there frequently myself!), or drink vodka that actually has flavor, such Ohio’s own OYO made from soft red winter wheat grown near its Columbus distillery.

The Standard Bartender’s Guide, revised and enlarged by James A. Beard (originally published in 1940, before the Moscow Mule existed), instructs simply this:

“Squeeze into a 12-ounce glass 1/2 Lime and drop in the Rind. Add ice cubes and 1-1/2 jiggers Vodka and fill with Ginger Beer. Stir and serve.”

How easy is that?! (Verdict: cool, light, and very refreshing!)

From the VTR menu:

“Born of a legendary 1941 brainstorming meeting between Smirnoff’s American distributor and Jack Morgan of the infamous Cock ’n’ Bull Tavern, this is the cocktail that ignited the American craze for vodka. Vodka, extra spicy ginger beer and lime juice, served on the rocks in a copper cup to stay extra cold.”

We celebrate Memorial Day to recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. Bless their souls, as my Grandma Rose would say. She lost her oldest, Robert, during World War II; he was killed on ski patrol on a mountain in Italy. I regret never meeting my Uncle Bob. At 17, he was already a gifted artist, recruited into propaganda, but he wanted to fight and lied to enlist early.

But enough (go read or reread Tim O’Brien’s masterpiece on war and story and the evil obscenity that is war, The Things They Carried).

This Memorial Day I will celebrate the end of my bachelordom, married to Donna 22 years on Saturday! Thanks for the pix and so, so much else, my love.

Happy Friday, all! And cheers and best wishes for a relaxing and commemorative Memorial Day weekend.

Moscow Mule

  • Fat wedge of lime
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ginger beer as needed (4 ounces or so)
  1. Squeeze the lime into a highball glass and plop the squeezed lime into the juice.
  2. Pour in the vodka.
  3. Fill the glass with ice and top it off with ginger beer.

Previous cocktail posts for your reference: the mighty Martini, probably the greatest cocktail ever, and one of the oldest and best for its simplicity, the Old-Fashioned.

If you liked this post on the Moscow Mule, check out these other links:

© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

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