Thursday, July 29, 2010

But was it in a copper mug?

My grandparents (dad's parents) are ones who enjoy a cocktail. When my grandpa was working, he and my grandma would have a cocktail every day when he got home from work around 5:30 p.m. I love to hear of their stories of their days in supper clubs, dressed to the nines, having real cocktails before dinner, then dancing away the night after dining. (I imagine them living a very Mad Men-esque life. Well, in relation to the cocktails, that is.)

After my grandpa retired, cocktail hour became earlier and earlier in the day. I think that their cocktail hour is now around around 2:00 p.m. Additionally, age and poor health has limited consumption of said cocktails to a rather rare occasion. Well, Grandpa can have one martini a day, two on a holiday. Grandma, who used to drink scotch (hard-core, right?) now drinks white white almost exclusively. Or the Two Buck Chuck. (She loves that merlot.) But the stories of them in their hay days continue over their more tame drinking.

Suffice it to say, I was raised to appreciate a well-crafted cocktail. Not that I was drinking when I was a child. Nope. I just was able to witness the high esteem in which they held their drinks of choice. For Grandpa it is a gin martini. Dry. Rocks. Lemon twist. Always.

Back in the day, there was more variety. I can tell that simply by their hoarding of enough glassware to stock a small bar. Martini glasses of various shapes and sizes, wine glasses so tissue paper thin I was never able to touch them for fear of breaking them and the copper mugs. Oh yes, the ever-so-important copper mugs. I had heard about them for years. They were a staple to the drink known as the Moscow Mule.

If you have never had a Moscow Mule, you must get on board. According to Grandpa, this is a Moscow Mule:
-Crushed ice
-Copper mug
-Ginger beer
-Fresh squeezed limes

This was why they always kept a stock of ginger beer. I remember that was my favorite thing to pilfer from the garage fridge. I couldn't resist those little baby green bottles filled with gingery pop. (Yeah, it's pop to me. Deal with it.)

A MM sounds delightful, right? Of course, as a girl in my young twenties (and a student for much of that time), I didn't patronize bars that might serve up such a fancy cocktail. Face it, when you're ordering a Miller Lite in a plastic tumbler you are able to take home, you're not concerning yourself with a nicely crafted cocktail. (I mean, come cups! When you're a poor student, this seems like a swell deal. Lots of beer and free dishes!)

Two years ago, I had my first opportunity to have a Moscow Mule at a very lovely spot known for its hand-crafted cocktails. Vodka, ginger syrup and lime. I remember visiting my grandparents and excitedly telling the that I had ordered a Moscow Mule. How excited they would be for me, I remember thinking.

"Was the ice crushed?"
"Was it in a copper mug?"
"They did it wrong, you know."


"Yeah. I know."

While the actual ingredients and presentation of my first MM was incorrect to my grandparents, the taste was incredible, and I knew I must keep ordering said drink. Fast forward to another bar known for its cocktails. Another Moscow Mule ordered. Sadly, they were out of ginger beer. The horror! Not to worry, the bartender hooked me up with something somewhat comparable. It wasn't quite the same, but the gingery goodness was still there.

My closest encounter with a truly correct MM (of course, this is all according to my lushy grandparents) was last night. I was out to dinner with P.I.C. to celebrate his birthday, so we decided to begin with a cocktail. MM on the menu? This chick is ordering. The drink's ingredients sounded accurate: vodka, lime juice and house-made ginger beer. Yes please! After a few moments, my drink was brought out. In a freakin' copper mug. Even P.I.C. took notice.

"A copper mug? Whoa. They did it right."
"I know, I'm so excited!"

I can just imagine the conversation I will have with my grandparents on Sunday (they have called me every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. since I was in college):

"I had a MM that was in a copper mug!"
"Well, now, that sounds about right. What about the ice? Was it crushed?"


"No. I guess it was just almost right."

My mission is clear, kids. Maybe I will never find a cocktail up to my grandparents' lofty, lushy and old school standards. But that doesn't mean I can't try.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    The site is about the use of copper mug, Copper Mugs offers you many new designed and fashionable mugs for your use with family and friends. You can also get them from the local market, thanks a lot.