OK, I will admit, I am a gadget guy. Having a technical background, I am fascinated by new ideas and clever devices. Also, since people know I’m a spirits guy when people look to gift me, it is not unusual to get some booze-related stuff. That is how I ended up with the Brookstone Iced Mule Mug. Watching a neighbor’s pooch for the weekend, a nice little gift as a thank you (Thanks, Jon and Jin).
Looking at it I was somewhat skeptical; It’s a copper mug with a plastic ice mold insert to freeze a coating of ice on the inside of the mug. Sort of like an ice shot glass, only bigger and with a handle. This thing works very well. It’s an insulated mug so that the ice melts slowly and big enough for a strong cold Kentucky Mule. I found that the ice lasts long enough (and I drink fast enough) for two or even a third mule out of this mug. When you take it out of the freezer the outside frosts up nicely to give you that copper mug feel.
Instructions for use:
- Fill the mug with water to fill line – the line is pretty obvious, but I found a little more water was better.
- Insert and secure the ice mold into the mug. This is easy to do, it can squirt a little water, particularly if you over fill the water as I do.
- Freeze for approximately 6 hours, I did try to take it out early, and it wasn’t frozen.
- Fill the inside of the plastic mold with warm/hot water and let sit for a couple of minutes, this step is critical. There have been reports of breaking the handle off by not doing this (the instruction do not tell you this).
- Twist the ice mold and remove.
Checking the price (somewhat impolite, but anything for Bourbon and Banter), I found it on Amazon for $16.95. This seems comparable to most mule mugs. One warning, in researching on most sites I found they were out of stock. If you can, check the stores.
For curiosity, I tried to use the insert on one of my standard copper mugs. Without the insulation, it is not nearly as effective.
Copper mugs…I read they were deadly!
For those who may be concerned about the latest news on copper mugs, the lining in this product is not copper (in addition to the ice). My other set of mugs are 100% copper.
On July 28, 2017, The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division published a bulletin cautioning people on drinking “mule” drinks from copper mugs. It says that in acidic (pH of less than 6.0) solutions, copper from the mug can dissolve into the beverage and be consumed. Consuming excessive amounts of copper can lead to illness. The lime juice and ginger beer in mule drinks are acidic, at or beyond the pH level of concern.
Further investigation has shown that this may not be as big a danger as some may have thought. While the acidic level of typical drinks are just high enough to dissolve the copper. Well to quote a phrase, “fake news”. It seems, in typical mule cocktails the amount of copper dissolved should be very low. This report (Chemist Debunks That Nasty Rumor about Moscow Mule Mugs Being Poisonous) suggests that filling the mug with pure lime juice and letting it sit for hours is the only way to reach the amounts of copper that might be of concern.
Kentucky Mule Recipe
- 1/2 oz. of lime juice
- 2 oz. of bourbon
- 4-6 oz. of ginger beer
- Squeeze lime juice into a Collins glass (or Moscow Mule mug) and drop in the spent shell.
- Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, then pour in the bourbon and fill with cold ginger beer.
- Serve with a stirring rod and garnish with a mint sprig.
Moscow Mule Recipe
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 2 oz. vodka
- 4-6 oz. ginger beer
- Add lime juice or squeeze lime juice into a Moscow Mule mug and drop in the spent shell.
- Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, then pour in the vodka and fill with cold ginger beer.
- Serve with a stirring rod.