Britannia Rules with the London Mule
Old Blighty has taken a few hits recently what with Brexit and all. But there’s no doubt on this side of the Atlantic that the naysayers are simply underestimating our friends across the channel and that they’ll emerge from the current situation stronger and more vital than ever. In an effort to show our support for the UK, and more specifically its magnificent capital, we’ve decided to offer up a variation on the Moscow Mule that speaks to the palate of Anglophiles everywhere. So break out your copper mugs and prepare to toast the London Mule..
London is one of the oldest major cities in the world having been established in 43 AD by the Romans who christened it Londinium. By the 2nd century Londinium had an estimated 60,000 residents and was the capital and major trading center of the Roman province of Britannia. In the 5th century, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Londinium went into a period of decline and was effectively abandoned as an administrative and commercial hub. In 886 King Alfred reversed the decline when he moved his court back within the walls of the ancient Roman city. As a result political, cultural and economic activity greatly increased and by the time of the Norman conquest in 1066 London had become the undisputed largest and most important city in England. In time it would become the center of the world’s first truly global empire and the only major city in Western Europe that did not fall to the Axis powers during World War II.
Dutch Courage Crosses the Channel
Genever is a Dutch liquor derived from juniper berries that has been part of cultural mix in the Low Countries for nearly 500 years. During the 16th century it was brought back to England by soldiers who encountered it while fighting in the Netherlands alongside the Earl of Leicester (who was attempting to buttress local forces in their resistance to rule by the Spanish line of the Habsburg dynasty). Soldiers who drank genever reported that the drink helped calm their nerves in the hours leading up to battle. As a result the drink soon took on the moniker “Dutch Courage”. In England the name “genever” was Anglicized to “gen” and then simply “gin” and it quickly found favor at all levels of society. So much so that gin and Britain are considered largely synonymous today.
Break Out the Copper Mugs
Now that we have some background on the country and the liqueur we’ll use to make our London Mule let’s take a look at the appropriate vessel for containing this most British of cocktails. Copper Moscow Mule mugs are as essential to the Mule experience as snifters are to brandy, wine glasses are to Pinot Noir and the shot glass is to tequila. Without the copper mugs a Mule is simply not a Mule. You’ll see some websites that will try and convince you to serve your Mule in a highball glass or a standard tumbler but don’t buy it. Those folks are just trying to make a name for themselves by being different. And while we’re all for individuality and celebrating differences, there are still times when you draw the line and this is one of them. If you don’t have any Moscow Mule mugs on hand you can purchase some through our online store. We have a wide variety of styles available to match any taste and they’re more affordable than most people imagine.
London Mule Ingredients
It’s now time to bring together the ingredients we’re going to need for our London Mule. Whereas a standard Moscow Mule uses vodka as its foundational ingredient our London Mule is going to use gin, as we mentioned above. But we’re not going to be satisfied with simply doing a straight up vodka/gin substitution. Instead, we’re going to emphasize the freshness of our concoction by adding half an ounce of cucumber liqueur to the mix. And because we’re all about London we’re going to recommend you use Thatcher’s Cucumber Liqueur to pay tribute to the Iron Lady herself. (If you can’t find Thatcher’s however, any brand will do in a pinch.) Beyond that we’re going to need 2 ounces of ginger beer, 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice and some cucumber slices to garnish. So here’s the list:
- 2 oz London Dry Gin
- 1/2 oz cucumber liqueur
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 oz ginger beer
- Cucumber slices to garnish
- Moscow mule mug
London Mule Recipe
Now that we’ve brought together all the ingredients it’s time to construct our London Mule. We recommend that you chill the copper mugs before mixing your London Mules in them. It will make the cocktail just that much more refreshing. So here we go:
- Fill copper mug with ice
- Add the gin, cucumber liqueur and lime juice
- Stir well
- Add the ginger beer
- Stir gently
- Garnish with cucumber slice
- Serve and enjoy!
And that’s it. You now have the perfect cocktail to use to pay homage to our special friends across the water. Because, even though our relationship got off to something of a rocky start, there’s been no country over the past 100 years whose fate has been so thoroughly intertwined with our own. So raise your copper mugs to Britannia at your next party and send them some love at this trying time.
About Copper Mugs
We feel compelled to mention that there were some stories circulating in the press not too long ago that implied that copper Moscow Mule mugs may not be safe to drink from. Nothing could be further from the truth. While copper poisoning is a real thing the amount of copper that winds up leaching into a London Mule from the mug itself is so infinitesimally small that you’d need to drink several dozen Mules every day for a prolonged period of time to be at risk. And if you’re drinking that many cocktails then copper is not your biggest problem.