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Moscow mule copper mugs may be toxic, officials say

Ahhhhh… a chilled cocktail on a hot summer day, there isn’t much better. Especially if that cocktail is the popular cocktail known as a Moscow mule. Made with just vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, this cool cocktail is traditionally served in a copper mug. Unfortunately, according to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Divisiona it’s the copper mug that may be of concern.

The FDA's (Food and Drug Administration) Model Food Code does not allow food below a pH llevel of 6.0 to come in contact with copper. And the PH level of a Moscow mule is “well below” that threshold. So by the FDA’s standards, it is “unsafe” to serve a Moscow mule in the traditional copper mug. The concern comes from the fact that “high concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness.” The low pH levels of the cocktail could cause copper to “leach into the drink and cause illness.”

So when you’re trying to cool off on a hot summer day with a Moscow mule, make sure the copper mug you’re using is lined with either nickel or stainless steel.

For more on the potential dangers of Moscow mules in copper mugs, click the link: