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The birth of the Moscow Mule

A story of friendship and a cocktail

by Sara Cervo
May 9th, 2015
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It all happened in 1941, when Rudolph Kunett, the President of Smirnoff, the Russian vodka company, met John G. Martin, the Director of Heublein Inc, the largest distributor of alcoholic beverages in America in the 20th century, and Jack Morgan, the owner of the Cock’n'Bull Saloon.

Enjoying hors d’oeuvre and a slug of drink at the Chatham hotel in Manhattan, the three were discussing the mixed vodka and ginger beer that Jack was trying to launch onto the market. They ordered some ice and lime, mixed the ingredients together and tried what was to become the Moscow Mule.

This cocktail would become the most popular drink in Hollywood in the ’50s thanks to the strategy that Martin adopted to promote it: in every pub he went in on the West Coast, he took a polaroid of the barman holding a copper mug engraved with a mule that been designed especially by Smirnoff.

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