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When it comes to classic cocktails, the Moscow mule is among the most iconic, perhaps because it’s so simple, calling for just vodka, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice. But for the most authentic experience, you’re missing the most important ingredient: the signature copper mug.
Why does the traditional mug matter so much? The copper material takes on the temperature of the drink, keeping your libation ice-cold—even on the hottest of summer days. Some say the copper also intensifies the fizziness of the spicy ginger beer, creating aromatic fragrances and flavorful sips. A standard copper Moscow mule mug is made entirely of copper with a round bowl and handle to keep your hand from freezing. If that’s not your style, there are plenty of more contemporary and quirky options available.
Here are the best Moscow mule mugs available.
Best Overall: Advanced Mixology Mule Science Moscow Mule Copper Mugs
Crafted by hand
Includes straws, coasters, and shot glasses
Will tarnish over time
One of the most authentic Moscow mule mugs available is Advanced Mixology's Moscow Mule Copper Mugs Set, which includes everything you need to craft excellent cocktails: four hammered mugs, a matching hammered copper shot glass for measuring, four copper straws that double as stir sticks, and four wooden coasters.
The mugs hold a generous 16-ounces—more than enough room for a double Moscow mule if you so please—and each is crafted from 100 percent food-grade copper that's heated, tempered, formed, hammered, and polished by hand, and then finished with a tarnish-resistant coating on both the inside and outside. Hand wash the mugs to protect the finish. In general, copper cups like these will begin to tarnish over time. That said, it’s easy to buff them up at home with a little bit of metal polish.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Cocktail Kingdom Engraved Moscow Mule Mug
Looking for something fun? Barware giant Cocktail Kingdom riffs off the traditional Moscow Mule design for a cheeky, nostalgic-leaning mug. The bucking donkey logo is actually a reproduction of the first official Moscow mule mug crafted in 1964.
Aesthetics aside, this mug is heavy-duty. It’s made with 100 percent copper and coated with a food-safe finish that prolongs the life of the mug and prevents direct copper contact, meaning it won't patina, tarnish, or fade after many washes. The mugs are hand wash only and hold 12 ounces of liquor each. Trust Cocktail Kingdom to make an excellent copper mug. The barware producer is known as the go-to for high-quality bar tools for bartenders everywhere.
“The great thing about a Moscow mule is how easy it is to make and enjoy. It's just three ingredients—vodka, lime, ginger beer." — Harry Jamison, General Manager of a.kitchen+bar
Best Solid Copper: B. Weiss Copper Moscow Mule Mugs
No polishing required
Elegant gift box
Not as high-quality as other options
Every one of these beautiful copper mugs is carefully crafted by hand. The set includes four hand-hammered copper mugs, four straws that double as stir sticks, a shot glass, and a spoon with a spiral-twisted handle for stirring. The generously sized handles are welded to the body for extra sturdiness. All of this is packed up in an elegant gift box, too, so you can rest assured it looks nice when you send it to your favorite home bartender.
The mugs hold 16 ounces each. The thin rolled lip is a nice touch, as well, as it gives the mug an elevated look and is easy to sip from when you’re not drinking from a straw. The mugs have a durable coating, so you won’t have to worry about corrosion or having to polish them after every use.
“The most important ingredient in a Moscow mule is ginger beer,” says Jamison. “You want to get something that has a good kick of gingery spice to it (we use Fever-Tree at our bar).”
Best Set: Sertodo Copper Moscow Mule Mug Set
Handmade by artisans in Texas and Mexico
Made from recycled sources
When it comes to quality, Sertado’s copper Moscow mule mugs are as top-notch as you get. Each Sertado product is carefully made from recycled sources by a team of artisans led by founder Jonathan Beall in the brand’s Austin, Texas, workshop and Michoacán, Mexico. While the mugs undergo traditional copper welding and hammering, they have a modern appearance. Sertado skips the usual rounded cup for a more angular, Southwestern take on a Moscow mule cup. The handles are carefully welded on, making them incredibly durable, and the brand uses high-quality copper, so there's no need for chemical linings and lacquers.
Each mug holds a hearty 18 ounces of liquid. You can get them in singles or sets of two or four. They are on the pricier side, but keep in mind the brand employs highly skilled Mexican artisans, so that money is going towards exceptional materials, hours of craftsmanship, and the employees' quality of life.
Best Mini: Decodyne Moscow Mule Shot Glasses
Great for hosting
Cute and functional
While these won’t hold a full Moscow mule, these petite shot glasses are excellent accompaniments to your next happy hour. Both cute and functional, they hold 2 ounces each. They're 100 percent copper-plated and have a durable, non-reactive stainless steel interior for durability.
When they aren't in use, place them in the kitchen to hold small amounts of salt, sugar, or spices for your favorite recipes. They also make great measuring cups when you need exactly 2 ounces of something for cooking. You could even use them as a festive jigger for measuring out your actual Moscow mules or for serving fun shots—perhaps vodka with a lime salt rim or fresh ginger juice. Hand wash to clean.
Best Personalized: Mark and Graham Monogrammed Copper Mug
Matching pitcher available
Not fully copper plated
Not a traditional Moscow mule mug
A personalized mug can make a wonderful gift for a hostess, friend, or family member. If you're giving these as a gift and want them to stand out, add a monogram that's engraved into the metal for a permanent embellishment—it’s a great touch for the new bride or the first-time homebuyer. Monogramming does cost extra, but you can choose from 16 different styles, which gives you plenty of options for personalization.
For this mug, Mark and Graham veers away from the rounded Moscow Mule mug shape and instead opt for a classic beer hall Stein. That means this mug will be excellent for not just drinking frozen cocktails, but icy beers and Micheladas.
100 percent copper with a tin lining and have a generous handle. Since there’s no coating on the copper, they will develop a patina over time, but you can polish them if you prefer a shiny appearance. To complete the look, a matching copper pitcher is also available.
“My favorite Mule family member is the Peruvian classic Chilcano: Peruvian Pisco, ginger, lime and soda. Personally, I think fresh ginger tastes better than ginger beer. With a fresh ginger syrup, you get a lot of extra spice and it's delicious." — Ivy Mix, Cofounder of Speed Rack, Co-Owner of Leyenda and Fiasco! Wine and Spirits, and Author of "Spirits of Latin America"
Best Lined: Krown Kitchen Hammered Moscow Mule Copper Mug Set
Finished with stainless steel
Purists may not like a non-copper mug
Purists swear by a 100 percent copper mug, but if you’re worried about upkeep, having a mug that's lined with stainless steel will help your drinkware hold up over time. The Krown Kitchen Hammered Moscow Mule Copper Mug Set has a hammered copper exterior, but the interior is non-reactive stainless steel, so it won't corrode or impart tinny flavors to your favorite cocktails. This set includes four mugs and coasters, a stainless steel-lined shot glass, a recipe book, and a cleaning cloth.
The handles are welded onto the mug for added security, and the double-walled construction will keep drinks cool for several hours, which is a great bonus if you're going to be enjoying a drink or two outdoors during the summer months. No wonder these mugs are at every Happy Hour in the South.
“I always make mule cocktails with fresh ginger syrup rather than ginger beer because I love the bite and heat that fresh ginger brings,” says Lynnette Marrero, cofounder of Speed Rack and bar director of Llama Inn and Llama San. “As for the mug, I think it came into fashion as a way to market the drink, but also copper does keep it cold. If you don’t have one, you can make it in a glass and enjoy."
Best Design: Kamojo Embossed Pure Copper Moscow Mule Mugs
Handmade by artisans in India
Not a traditional design
Metal is quite thin
If you’re looking to impress, Kamojo’s embossed mugs skip the traditional decorative hammered finish in favor of elegant embossments of flowers, leaves, filigrees, and flourishes. The shape of the mugs is different from the usual barrel-shaped versions, with a taller, slimmer shape.
Each of these details is carefully hammered by hand by an artisan in India. The mugs hold 16 ounces each, so they’re a perfect fit for any classic Moscow mule recipes (or try a spiked lemonade or Bloody Mary) you find while the generous, elegantly shaped handle is easy to hold.
The copper is finished with a protective coating, helping reduce the oxidation copper is prone to over time (that means, less time polishing, more time sipping!). Two copper straws are included for sipping or stirring, and a free e-book with Moscow mule recipes is included. These should be hand washed.
Advanced Mixology's Mule Science Moscow Mule Copper Mugs (view at Amazon) not only look stunning, but hold a generous 16 ounces of vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. Plus, the set comes with a shot glass, straws, and coasters. If you're giving the gift of drinkware to a cocktail enthusiast, the B. Weiss Copper Moscow Mule Mugs (view at Amazon) hold the same amount of liquid, won't corrode, and arrive in classy packaging.
What to Look for in a Moscow Mule Mug
A great Moscow mule mug is pricey, but that’s because of the copper construction. Over the last few centuries, drinkers have discovered that copper cups retain the chilly temperatures of an ice-cold beverage for far longer than a standard metal mug. Copper is particularly efficient at insulating, keeping your drinks cold all through hot summer days. While 100 percent copper mugs are the most high-quality options available, one lined with stainless steel will also be easy to clean. Some Moscow mule cups even come with a cleaning cloth to make them shine like a new penny.
Many options out there are copper plated. While this will be easier to clean, they won’t have the benefits of a 100 percent copper mug.
If not finished properly, a copper mug can actually be dangerous. Copper parts can seep into your drink. Every option on this list is safe, but if you’re searching for a copper mug elsewhere, make sure the mug has a food-safe lacquer or finish.
A Strong Handle
One of the reasons folks love a Moscow mule mug is because they keep your drink absolutely frosty for over an hour. That also means it's very cold to hold, which is where the handle comes in. You’ll want to ensure the handle is large enough to fit your hand and welded on for extra stability.
Is it safe to drink from a copper mug?
From a new copper mug, yes. Today’s copper mugs are created with safety in mind, coated with sealants and finishes that protect you from harmful metals. However, older mugs that have started to wear down and patina can start to leave traces of metal in your drink. It’s nothing to fear. Just consider replacing yours when they start looking worn, and skip shopping vintage for a Moscow mule mug.
How do you clean a copper mug?
As soon as happy hour is over, rinse out the container and use a soft sponge and mild dish soap to scrub your copper mug. Rinse with hot water, and then dry the mug with a dish towel. Repeat with a drier dish towel—do not let the mug air dry.
Every few months, give the mug a polish with metal cleaner to remove any tarnish. If you don’t have access to metal cleaner, try cutting a lemon in half and covering it with salt. Rub it on the tarnish, and any spots should come right out.
Why are Moscow mules served in copper mugs?
There are a host of reasons Moscow mule mugs are served in copper mugs. Some say copper intensifies the fizziness of ginger beer. More importantly, copper is one of the most conductive materials out there, meaning it takes on the chilled temperature of your drink. When you pour the ice in the Moscow mule mug, it immediately chills down and keeps your drink frosted for far longer than a regular glass.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Kate Dingwall is a sommelier and spirits writer. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for five years and has her BarSmarts and WSET certification. After living in Savannah, Georgia, for five years, she knows her way around a Moscow mule.