Refresh Yourself. Moscow-style.
Old Monk's Moscow Mule
At a party recently, I was given a taste of one of the most refreshing vodka cocktails I've had in a great while.
Josh -- who wears a Canadian tuxedo with more style than anyone else I know, but that's not really important right now -- handed me his cup and said, "It's made with awesome. Trust me, just try it." Or something to that effect. It was hard to remember anything that happened before my first sip of his Moscow Mule.
I felt like an ass (ha!) for having never tried it before...much less for not just accidentally having made it in the past, since it's made with three of my favorite things.
At first taste I experienced a fizzy concoction of vodka, ginger beer and lime. Though simply prepared, it's far from simple when you feel that tickle in your nose and your thirst is sated instantaneously. That's nothing but quality flavor and serious efficiency, my friends.
So, I applauded Josh for his drink and mentioned that he should put some copper mugs on his Amazon wish list for the next time someone trashes his house at a party and needs to make it up to him.
[Sidenote: That wasn't just some insane suggestion, seeing as how the trashing of Josh's house is oft-Tweeted and the Moscow Mule has been traditionally served in a chilled copper mug ever since the first issue of promotional Smirnoff copper mugs when the drink was born in 1941. It was created by John Martin (no relation) of Smirnoff/GF Hublein Bros. spirits distributor and ginger beer brewer Jack Morgan of LA's Cock 'n' Bull Tavern who were, respectively, trying to sell their vodka and ginger beer.]
The party died down and I went home thinking of all the wonderful aspects of the Moscow Mule: preemptive stomach soothing thanks to the ginger, lack of pore reekage the next day thanks to the vodka and vitamin C from the lime. It's almost a health drink if you're skilled at rationalizing .
Anyway, a couple of weeks later, fellow girl drinker Jessica and I head to the Old Monk for some catch-up conversations, bites and drinks.
After studying the food menu and absent-mindedly ordering a Black Velvet, I noticed something at the bottom of the menu that I'd seen often before but never registered. It made me jump up and rush to find my server and cancel my BV: the Moscow Mule. And served in chilled copper! (There's just something about chilled metal glasses that makes everything so much colder. Therefore, they are ideal on a Texas summer night on the patio.)
While copperized, the Old Monk's version is a slight variation of the classic recipe: Russian Standard vodka instead of Smirnoff, lime and ginger ale instead of ginger beer. It's less fizzy to be sure, but still has that fabulous ginger flavor kick that pairs so well with fresh lime.
It also inspired me to make some at home for a recent gathering. I wasn't able to locate ginger beer given the time of day -- or night, rather -- but ginger ale filled in nicely for the time being.
Now, I realize that I previously claimed the Domino Fizz to be my summer drink of choice, but the Moscow Mule is ready to buck its way to the forefront. Seriously, the drink is a welcome kick in the pants...specifically, the summer short pants.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.