Moscow mule copper mugs may be toxic, officials say

Posted August 10, 2017

Moscow Mules are traditionally served in a copper mug, but health officials warn the classic combination could lead to food poisoning.

As The Washington Post reported this week, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division released a bulletin late last month warning bartenders and restaurants against serving the popular cocktail in copper mugs, as is traditional. When the copper or copper alloys come into contact with food or liquid with a pH below 6, the copper can leach into it. Examples of these acidic foods include fruit juice, wine, vinegar - and Moscow Mules.

The simple cocktail requires only vodka, lime juice and ginger beer along with garnish which can either be a lime slice or mint leaves. As reported by Newser, the popularity of Moscow Mule drinks served in copper mugs might not be a good thing due to a chemical reaction that can occur in certain copper mugs.

"This means that copper mugs that have a copper interior may not be used with this beverage", according to the ABD. A different interior should line the inside of the cup, such as stainless steel and nickel.

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The copper metal of the mug can leech into the cocktail and cause copper poisoning.

Over time, Business Insider says that copper exposure can damage the liver and kidneys.

Symptoms of copper poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice, according to the U.S.

"You're at more risk for alcohol consumption", Marler said.