Food

Copper Moscow Mule mugs may be poisoning you — here's how to tell

Moscow Mules are not only one of the tastiest drinks — they’re also one of the trendiest, and that’s due in large part to the copper mugs that they are traditionally served in.

And believe us — we love those mugs, too. So, it is with our deepest sympathies that we come to you with some bad news: The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division just issued an advisory bulletin that says those trendy copper mugs may be bad for your health.

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It turns out, the Food and Drug Administration’s Model Food Code “prohibits copper from coming into direct contact with foods that have a pH below 6.0.” Examples of foods with a pH below 6.0 are vinegar, fruit juice and wine. Since the drink is traditionally made using vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, it definitely fails to meet that criteria.

Look, we’re just as upset as you are — but luckily, there is hope.

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division must have sensed our concern, because they clarified that “copper mugs lined on the interior with another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel, are allowed to be used and are widely available.”

This isn’t the first time that the copper mugs have made the news, but the last time, the research showed results suggesting their health benefits. This was due to the mineral’s role in brain function, red blood cell production and in maintaining collagen and elastin. That said, that study was based off of drinking water from copper cups — without factoring in drinks that have large pH balances.

For now, the next time we go to order, we’ll just check to make sure our Moscow Mules are served in mugs lined with stainless steel.

Cheers!

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