by Pink Lady
In this week’s Dig column we shared one version of the Moscow Mule story with you — the one that glorifies Heublein, Inc. President John Martin for his marketing savvy. You can read the New York Times’ take on the unique man behind the marketing campaign that made dusty bottles of unloved Smirnoff fly off the liquor store shelves here.
Eric Felten’s take on the Moscow Mule story suggests that the drink was actually invented in 1941 by Cock n’ Bull head bartender Wes Price. Price “‘just wanted to clean out the basement’”, which was overloaded with a shipment of Smirnoff that had been foisted upon the bar by John Martin, and some “dusty jugs of ginger beer that [bar owner Jack] Morgan had ordered in an earlier fit of misguided enthusiasm.” Price received no credit, but the drink went on to become a mega-hit with Hollywood’s glitterati, and has been immortalized as the original vodka cocktail.
It begs the question –what is more important to a cocktail’s success? Overall deliciousness? Or how you market it?
Whatever the answer, this highball will receive a hearty toast at the LUPEC BOSTON “USO SHOW” this Friday, where the Moscow Mule will be served. If you can’t join us, raise one of these at home, following LUPEC Boston member Moscow Mule’s favorite recipe:
Squeeze .5 lime into a Collins glass (or traditional copper mug) and drop in the skin.
Add ice and:
2 shots vodka
1 shot fresh lime
Top with cold ginger beer & finish with a good dash of Anostura bitters.