Moscow Mules could be poisoning drinkers

Moscow Mule Copper Mug May Cause Food Poisoning

Fortunately for Moscow mule enthusiasts - there is a way to indulge in the beverage with the unique copper cup. Here's why copper and alcoholic beverages should not mix.

Iowa's Alcoholic Beverages Division released an advisory bulletin warning consumers about the potential dangers of using copper for serving alcoholic drinks.

The acid that results from mixing water and carbon dioxide leaches copper from the plumbing components and the leachate is then transferred to beverages, causing copper poisoning.

The problem is that in recent years, copper mugs have become a trendy vessel for Moscow Mule cocktails and other mixed alcoholic beverages, where a common ingredient is highly-acidic fruit juice.


The Moscow mule raises safety concern as it recently surged in popularity. Traditionally, Moscow mules contain vodka, ginger beer and lime and have a pH well below 6.0. "When copper and copper allow surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food".

Though most restaurateurs know not to use copper when preparing food, being barred from using it for drinks is a newer discovery. Copper pots, for instance, can alter the flavor of the recipe.

It's the shiny copper mug in which the cocktail is typically served. The statement said that those with inner linings that use a different metal such as stainless steel or nickel are safe to drink from. It conducted a study and concluded using the signature mug for any liquid or food with a pH balance of below 6 could result in food poisoning or copper poisoning.

Over time, copper exposure can damage liver and kidneys.

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