The Moscow Mule has been the hottest cocktail over the past three years. It’s simple enough to make at home. So refreshing that you can drink it all four seasons of the year. And everyone seems to love the traditional copper mugs that the Moscow Mule is supposed to be served in. People love the copper mug so much I think I got 16 of them for Christmas two years ago (from 4 different relatives).
I dig that copper mug myself. I think it retains the frigidity of the drink pretty well with all that crushed ice. So I was a little disturbed to come across this report of how that traditional copper mug can royally funk your stomach up. The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division did an independent report and found that the copper mugs are at risk of causing food poisoning:
The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division — which examined what can happen when copper mixes with food — declared that the state will follow FDA code on copper mugs.
The code “prohibits copper from coming into direct contact with foods that have a pH below 6.0,” according to USA Today.
Liquids with a pH below that level include wine, vinegar and fruit juice.
That means cocktails like the Moscow Mule — a drink often served in signature copper cups that includes vodka, ginger beer and lime juice — are potentially unsafe to drink, as they fall below that cutoff.
“High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness,” the statement from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division explains. “When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food.” (via Miami Herald)
According to the Miami Herald, the potential side effects here of Copper Poisoning include stomach pains, yellowing of the skin, diarrhea, and vomiting…Sounds great, huh? Spewing liquid from every orifice all because you drank some beverages out of a copper mug, that’s living your best life.
Sure, this is disturbing news…but is it really all that bad? How many times have you drunk a Moscow Mule out of a copper mug? Hundreds? How many times have you known anyone that came down with copper poisoning from drinking out of a copper mug? This is the first time I’m hearing about this potential for poisoning, and while the science adds up, I’m willing to call shenanigans.
Over on the Miami Herald, they have a potential fix for this copper poisoning problem. It’s copper mugs lined with another material…Kind of seems wrong though, doesn’t it?