WARNING: Drinking Moscow Mules Out of Copper Mugs Could Trigger Poisoning Symptoms


Over the past few years, Moscow mule has become popular in the U.S. It is actually an alcoholic drink, which includes lime, vodka and ginger beer. But, an Alcoholic Beverages Division of Iowa’s advisory bulletin notes that the mug this beverage is served in is a toxic copper mug.

Are you familiar with the fact that high amount of copper is poisonous and could lead to foodborne illness? Specifically, once this metal comes into contact with certain beverages or foods, it could cause leaching. That’s why Iowa and many other countries adopted the U.S FDA Model Food Code that does not allow copper to come into contact with certain foods, which have a pH below six

In addition, foods that have a pH below six include wine, black tea, fruit juice, nuts, cheese, chocolate, vinegar, etc. Moreover, a standard Moscow mule has a pH below six. In short, following the Model Food Code, copper mugs that have a copper interior shouldn’t be used. On the other hand, copper mugs with stainless steel or nickel interior can be used since they are considered to be safe.

Even Though Copper Poisoning Doesn’t Occur Quite Often, You May Experience Many Health Issues Due to Long-Term Exposure to This Metal:

The ingestion of a great amount of copper could lead to:

  • Jaundice (yellow skin)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

The long-term exposure to this metal includes the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Shock
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Fever
  • Convulsions
  • Chills
  • Burning sensation
  • Symptoms of anemia

Although consuming one Moscow mule will not result in the symptoms related to long-term exposure to copper, you should avoid coming into contact with this metal, because it could build up in your body. What’s more, when you consider copper toxicity, you should also pay attention to your cookware, hormonal birth control and drinking water.

That’s not all, many researchers claim that excess copper could also increase your risk of developing dementia

Here Are 2 Safer Alternatives to Copper Mugs:

Although copper mugs are toxic, this doesn’t have to mean that you should avoid drinking Moscow mule. When you order a Moscow mule, make sure that the copper mug has a stainless steel or nickel interior.

Here is how to make a Moscow Mule Mocktail in a stainless steel/nickel mug or plain glass.

Homemade Moscow Mule Mocktail Recipe

Things You Will Need:

  • Crushed ice
  • Lime slice
  • Mint leaves
  • A quarter cup of sparkling water
  • A quarter cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Half a cup of ginger beer


  1. Fill the mug ¾ full with ice.
  2. Then, combine the sparkling water, ginger beer and lime juice.
  3. Finally, top with one mint leaf and one lime slice.