Updated September 2021
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Buying guide for best copper mugs

A Moscow mule is a quintessential cocktail that is easy to make, but it’s incomplete without a proper copper mug to keep it cool. A set of elegant copper mugs allows you to serve this drink to your guests in style – or to treat yourself after a long day.

While you can serve a Moscow mule in a collins glass, a copper mug is the most common vessel for this refreshing cocktail. Most copper mugs are 16 ounces, but larger and smaller mugs are also available. To keep your drinks colder longer, look for double-walled copper mugs. There are some health concerns surrounding 100% copper mugs, so many mugs are plated with nickel, steel, or a laminate on the inside.

Copper mugs range in price and quality, but a good set should last you for decades. For more about copper mugs and Moscow mules, our buying guide has all you need to know.

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Copper mugs can be used for decoration as well as drinking. Hang them up above your bar or in your kitchen to add a bit of elegant flare to your decor.

How to make a Moscow mule

What is a Moscow mule? It’s a refreshing cocktail served over ice that has a kick of ginger and a hint of lime, making it a great way to cool off. On the other hand, ginger has a festive taste to it, so you can enjoy mules around the holidays as well. Or why not just drink them year-round?

To make a Moscow mule, you will need:

●    Vodka
●    Ginger beer (typically a spicy variety)
●    Limes
●    Ice (cubed or crushed)
●    Mint leaves (optional)

First, fill your copper mug with your desired amount of ice. Add 4 ounces of ginger beer and 1.5 to 2 ounces of vodka. Finally, add a 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice. Stir gently, and garnish with a slice of lime and mint leaves. Enjoy!


Copper mugs may seem like fairly simple drinking glasses, but there are a few factors to consider before you buy.


Copper has a high conductivity, which allows a copper mug to quickly match the temperature of the drink inside. With an iced drink, a copper mug is cold to hold in your hands and cold to your lips when you take a sip.

If you’re shopping for a copper mug, the best option is probably 100% copper, right? Not necessarily. There are a few health concerns surrounding the use of copper with acidic beverages (like Moscow mules, which contain lime juice) since it is possible for the copper to dissolve and leach into your drink. This is the case even with food-grade copper.

Copper poisoning can lead to nausea, fever, dizziness, or fainting. That said, there is little research as of yet linking Moscow mules to copper poisoning. It is unclear how long a liquid with the pH of a mule would need to sit in a copper mug for a dangerous amount of copper to leach into the drink. If you want to play it safe, there are plenty of copper mugs that are lined with nickel, tin, or stainless steel – though these materials will make the inside of the mug a different color than the outside.

The gauge of the copper varies from one mug to the next, and low-gauge copper is thicker and more substantial feeling than high-gauge copper. Some copper is coated with a lacquer to preserve the shine of the metal.


Copper mugs may be rounded, flared, or straight in design, and most have a hammered texture. There are square handles, round handles, and other handle shapes as well, each of which feels different in your hand. The best style for a copper mug is the one you like best. If you want matching mugs, purchase them in a set. Copper mugs are usually sold in sets of two or four.

Some copper mugs are handmade, which can give them more of a classic look. These mugs may be less uniform, but that’s part of their appeal. Handmade mugs are generally more expensive.


The typical size for copper mugs is 16 ounces, but there are many mugs as small as 10 ounces or as large as 20 ounces available. Bear in mind that you may have to adjust mule recipes to maintain proper ratios if you opt for an unusual size of copper mug.

Double-walled construction

Some copper mugs have a double-walled construction, which helps to keep your beverage cold longer and your ice frozen. If you plan to enjoy your mules out in the sun, these mugs are a good option, though they tend to be more expensive.


There are a number of accessories that may come with a set of copper mugs. These include:

●    Copper or steel straws: for sipping and stirring
●    Shot glass or jigger: to help you accurately measure your liquor of choice
●    Recipe book: to give you new drink ideas
●    Coasters: to help prevent condensation from collecting on your tabletops
    Stirring spoon: for mixing ingredients

"Many copper mugs have a hammered texture – the grid of dimples that gives them their signature look."

Copper mug prices

Copper mugs that cost $5 to $10 are usually individual mugs that are not made entirely of copper. In many cases, the mugs are made of a metal like stainless steel and coated in copper to give a traditional look and feel. Individual copper mugs rarely come with accessories.

For $10 to $35, you’ll find a variety of copper mugs and copper mug sets made of 100% copper or lined with other materials for safety. Many of these mugs are handcrafted and accessories may be included with sets. Sets of two or four copper mugs are common in this price range.

Copper mugs and copper mug sets for $35 and up are usually handcrafted and may come with several accessories. There’s not always a noticeable increase in quality at this price, but there are many classy designs available.


There are many variations on the Moscow mule if vodka isn’t your drink of choice.

●    A Kentucky mule uses bourbon along with ginger beer and lime juice.
●    A Mexican mule swaps tequila for vodka but keeps the ginger beer and lime juice.
●    A French mule is cognac, ginger beer, lime juice, and Angostura bitters.
●    A gin-gin mule features gin and ginger beer with either lime or lemon juice.
●    What’s a dead man’s mule? It’s absinthe, cinnamon schnapps, ginger beer, and lime juice. Take out the schnapps and it’s simply a Bohemian mule.
●    You can also get creative and use fruits like blueberries, cranberries, or watermelon for a bit of extra flavor.

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Did you know?
Copper mugs are considered by many to be quintessential to Moscow mules since the copper quickly cools to match the temperature of the drink.
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Some copper mug sets include all the accessories you need to make your own Moscow mules at home, from stirring spoons to jiggers to coasters.


Q. Can I use ginger ale instead of ginger beer in a mule?
You can, but you may find that the signature bite of the mule is missing as ginger ale is much milder than spicy ginger beer. However, there is a variation on the traditional mule that uses ginger syrup instead of ginger beer.

Q. Can I make Moscow mules in a shaker?
It’s not recommended. A shaker will cause the ginger beer to lose carbonation, and your drink may end up a foamy mess. Stick to stirring mules in your copper mugs.

Q. Can copper mugs be washed in the dishwasher?
No. You should always hand-wash copper mugs. Not only does this prevent scratches, but it can also prolong the life of the mugs. You should also dry your mugs as quickly as possible with a cloth.

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