Heads up, Moscow mule lovers: That copper mug could be poisoning you

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

But perhaps the most crucial component of the drink is the copper mug in which it's nearly always served, beverage aficionados say.

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division has issued a warning about serving beverages or acidic foods in copper containers. Cocktails like Moscow Mule, which are broadly served in copper mugs, fall well below this standard. The code says copper is prohibited from coming into direct contact with foods with a pH below 6.0. High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration's Moral Food Code also warns that copper should not be allowed to come into direct contact with foods that have a pH level below 6.0. Chronic copper poisoning can cause liver and kidney damage.

So, if you're still up for that mule - made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice - make sure your mug is lined with another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel. Otherwise, opt for a tumbler.

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