Copper Mugs: They’re Not Just for Moscow Mules Anymore
Once upon a time (1941) John G. Martin - importer of what was at the time the little-known Smirnoff vodka - and Jack Morgan, owner of the Cock ‘n’ Bull pub in Los Angeles spent an afternoon together in the C’n’B brainstorming ways they could create demand for Martin's vodka. During the course of their conversation, Morgan let it slip that he'd ordered too much ginger beer for his bar, and that he knew someone who had a roomful of copper mugs they couldn’t get rid of. A light went off over one of their heads (exactly whose is the subject of much debate) and the Moscow Mule was born.
Since then the Mule has exploded in popularity with dozens of variations cropping up based on everything from geographical regions (the Miami Mule) to holidays (the Yule Mule). Its renown is such that one can barely mention the words "Moscow Mule" without the listener automatically associating it with solid copper mugs. But did you know that custom copper mugs are fast becoming the favored vessel of an even more popular adult beverage? Well, it is. And what might that beverage be? Beer! As it turns out Moscow Mule mugs also make outstanding beer mugs.
Copper Mugs and Beer: A Match Made in Refreshment Heaven
While aficionados of the Moscow Mule and its descendants may assume they have exclusive rights to mugs made of solid copper, the fact is people have been drinking beer and ale out of this type of mug since the late medieval period. Copper tankards and copper beer steins were staples of the European table way back when a "mule" referred to an alternative mode of transport to the more expensive horse.
Over the past century, however, most people began to drink their beer either straight from the bottle or out of glass beer mugs or pilsner glasses. As a consequence, the copper stein was relegated to the dusty storerooms of history except for certain ceremonial occasions when it would make an appearance.
What Makes Copper Such a Great Material for Beer Mugs?
The fact that more and more beer drinkers are rediscovering the modern-day equivalent of the traditional copper beer stein begs the question: "What makes copper such a great material for drinking beer?" Here are five reasons.
Solid copper Mule mugs keep the beer cold
If you want your beer or other beverage to stay cold for a while in a glass you'll need to chill that glass in the fridge before using it. Otherwise, your ice-cold beer will warm up in a hurry and become flat and tasteless. On the other hand, as soon as you pour your icy cold brew into a copper stein or mug the copper will become nearly as cold as the beer and stay that way longer, (provided you don’t leave it sitting in direct sunlight). The cool rim of the mug will also add to the perception of cold and make your beer seem that much more refreshing.
Copper steins or mugs can improve the taste of the beer
As soon as you pour your icy cold beer or ale into a custom copper mug the copper oxidizes, enhancing both the taste and aroma of your brew. Now there are plenty of ill-informed alarmists who will claim any sort of reaction between drink and mug represents a health hazard. But it’s simply not true. Numerous studies have verified that so little copper leaches into a drink that you would have to drink four or five dozen Moscow Mules or beers out of these mugs EVERY DAY FOR YEARS before it would pose a danger to your health. And if you’re drinking 50 beers a day, copper isn’t your biggest problem.
Unbeatable presentation points
In a world that is becoming increasingly virtual, many people are understandably drawn to traditional materials, whether that means handcrafted wooden furniture, handmade pottery or copper beer steins and mugs. Which do you think will be a bigger hit at your next party: serving beer in a glass mug or presenting your guest with their beer in a cold copper mug topped off with a frothy head? Presentation, folks. Presentation.
Lost in much of the misinformation swirling around copper mugs is the fact that copper containers have been appreciated for centuries for their antimicrobial powers. Scientific tests confirm that when you place bacteria-laden water in copper pots at room temperature in less than 24 hours the bacteria has died off. Considering all we’ve been through the past few years and the fact that so many people are still concerned about the coronavirus knowing that your beer mug is guarding the microbial gate for you has to be comforting on some level.
If you treat your copper drinking vessels properly they will last for centuries. Literally. A trip through the antique shops of Europe will net plenty of copper steins created in the 15th and 16th centuries that are still usable today. The best part is that "proper maintenance" doesn’t entail much more than cleaning and drying them after use and keeping them out of the dishwasher.
No one has a more impressive selection of retail and wholesale copper mugs than Paykoc Imports. Visit our online shop or stop by our brick-and-mortar location in Denver to see for yourself. And don't forget to ask about our laser-engraved mugs.