A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 14, 2018
Moscow Mule (cocktail)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Moscow mule
Moscow mule is a cocktail made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice or wedge of lime. It is a type of buck and therefore sometimes known as a vodka buck. The Moscow mule is popularly served in a copper mug. Public health advisories recommend the mugs be plated with nickel or stainless steel on the inside and the lip.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Moscow mule n. a vodka-based cocktail, typically mixed with ginger beer and often served with lime.
1944 Buckeye Tavern 11 May 4/2 Here is the recipe as advertised: Moscow Mule 1 oz. vodka, 10 oz. glass and chipped ice, a twist of lemon peel.
1965 O. A. Mendelsohn Dict. Drink 229 Moscow mule, cocktail of vodka, ginger beer and lime. The concoction is reported to be unknown in Russia.

11 May 1944, Buckeye Tavern, “Patrick Murphy’s The Barman’s Corner,” pg, 4, col. 2:
Since the primary purpose of this column is to keep the trade informed of mixtro news in particular and beverage lore in general, we hasten to report that a drink is being promoted in the Southwest.  It’s a brand promotion, but undoubtedly will click since it has a snappy name and its number one ingredient, vodka, is bought more easily in many areas than is gin or whiskey. The drink is a cooler built along Tom Collins lines, and here is the recipe as advertised:

Moscow Mule
1 oz. vodka, 10 oz. glass and chipped ice, a twist of lemon peel.

Not very specific as to how-to-mix, is it? Evidently sparkling water or ginger ale is taboo--just the ounce of vodka chilled with ice and the tang of a lemon peel. An ounce of such a spirit, by the way, allowed to stand in a
glass of chipped ice too long, would soon be quite dilute and we doubt that its potency would merit the “mule” title.  We haven’t tasted it, though, so perhaps our deduction is not entirely correct.

28 July 1948, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 12, col. 6:
Experiment With Vodka Lead to Moscow Mule
Lime Juice, Ginger Beer and Ice Cubes Are Added to Give Potent New Drink

By Clementine Paddleford
The Moscow Mule has kicked its way into town. Two drinks are guaranteed to rehabilitate a nerve-riddled executive after a bad day in the office.  In the most unlikely places matrons are pouring mules like pink tea and giggling like co-eds. The nicest thing about the mule is that it doesn’t make you noisy and argumentative, or quiet and sullen, but congenial and in love with the world. One wag of its tail and life grows rosy.

TEAM WORK—The mule was born in Manhattan but “stalled” on the West Coast for the duration. The birthplace of “Little Moscow” was in New York’s Chatham Hotel. That was back in 1941 when the first carload of Jack Morgan’s Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer was railing over the plains to give New Yorkers a happy surprise.  Here was ginger beer in crockery bottles tasting exactly like that of old England.

Three friends were in the Chatham bar, one John A. Morgan, known as Jack, president of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products and owner of the Hollywood Cock ‘n’ Bull Restaurant; one was John O. Martin, president of G. F. Heublein Brothers, Inc. of Hartford, Conn., and the third was Rudolph Kunett, president of the Pierre Smirnoff, Heublein’s vodka division.  As Jack Morgan tells it, “We three were quaffing a slug, nibbling an hors d’oeuvre and shoving toward inventive genius.” Martin and Kunett had their minds on their vodka and wondered what would happen if a two-ounce shot joined with Morgan’s ginger beer and the squeeze of a lime. Ice was ordered, limes procured, mugs ushered in and the concoction put together.  Cups were raised, the men counted five and down went the first taste. It was good. It lifted the spirit to adventure. Four or five later the mixture was christened the Moscow Mule—and for a number of obvious reasons.

ALIVE AND KICKING—Not knowing about the coming of Pearl Harbor, the friends chipped in and ordered 500 copper mugs embossed with “Little Moscows.” By this time the carload of Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer had reached Manhattan, such places as Club 21, the Waldorf Astoria, the Sherry Hetherlands, gave it an enthusiastic reception.

Then came Tojo, and Jack Martin departed for overseas service. Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer fought a home-staying battle with the O.P.A., the glass shortage, the national indigestion. It survived, but only in small but important precincts in Los Angeles.

Now again the mule is going places at a gallop--east of the Mississippi Heublein and Borthers, Inc., are skippering Cock ‘n’ Bull products.  Ginger beer is being bottled in a new factory in Yonkers, (Col. 7—ed.) Heubleins have the Vodka, Florida has the limes.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, July 14, 2018 • Permalink