drink was invented in the United States when John G. Martin acquired the rights to the Smirnoff vodka brand in 1939 for a small Heublein company supplying liquors and food. Meanwhile, Jack Morgan, his friend and owner of the Cock’n’Bull Saloon, was trying to launch his own brand of ginger beer, but sales weren’t going very well.
Legend has it that the two pals met at New York City’s Chatham Bar and decided to discuss how to make their non-profitable commercial projects work. Everything ingenious is simple: they decided to mix John’s vodka and Jack’s ginger beer with the addition of lime juice, and created, thus, the Moscow Mule cocktail.
The story sounds beautiful, however there is another version as well. She’s less elegant, but more believable. Eric Felton in 2007 wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal where he claimed that the drink was invented by Wes Price – the chief bartender of Cock’n’Bull (the very bar Jack Morgan owned). This invention was, in fact, his own attempt by the bartender to dispose of the stock of beer stored in the basement of the pub, which he wanted to vacate. The drink quickly gained popularity and perhaps Jack Morgan decided to appropriate the recipe creation to himself and carried out a series of successful marketing moves. Wes Price resigned in 1953, saying he “was not truly appreciated nor received a penny from his invention.”
safe to say that the combination of vodka and ginger beer helped Jack and John promote their product, however the success of the drink was also heavily influenced by copper mugs, which were applied to engraving in mule form. After all, everything that stands out from the crowd is known to help sales. This idea belongs to a certain emigrant named Sophie Berezinski, who inherited a loss-making copper cookware factory from her father.
In one of the most successful marketing campaigns in cocktail history, there was a collaboration of seemingly three doomed to fail beginnings into one of the most popular drinks of the 1950s and early 1960 -s. Smirnoff vodka commercials and posters in different countries across the country portrayed celebrities: Woody Allen, Monique Van Vooren, Julie Newmar, “Killer” Joe Piro and Dolores Hawkins who enjoyed with this drink.
The result was a frantic rise in popularity. Moscow Mule became the sales leader for several years. Copper mugs were soon ordered across the country, for using these utensils is a mandatory part of the recipe.
In 1947, when Edwin N. Land invented the Polaroid camera, a cocktail Moscow Mule was already present on the menu of many bars. Martin, after buying this camera, went from bar to bar, taking pictures of bartenders with a bottle of Smirnoff vodka in one hand and a Moscow Mule cocktail in the other. He was taking two pictures. One was left at the bar, and the other was shown to the bartender at the next drinking establishment, telling and teaching the recipe for this cocktail. So Moscow Mule got the widest spread with the help of John’s ingenious marketing move.
Also successful promotion of the brand was promoted by the slogan “He will embody the spirit of you”.
There’s room left for black PR too. At the peak of McCarthyism (a campaign run by Senator Joseph McCarthy against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions), a rumour passed about the involvement of the once-Russian Smirnoff vodka in anti-american conspiracy. Then American bartenders declared this mixed drink a boycott. Rallies, covered by newspapers, were held, which only contributed to the growth of interest.
The origin of the name is subject to controversy and controversy. According to one version, “Mule” symbolizes the tenacity of entrepreneurs promoting a new cocktail. According to another – the force of intoxication was compared to hitting a mule’s hoof.
One thing can be said for sure – the set-top box “Moskovsky” – a tribute to Smirnoff vodka, once produced in Moscow.