Sips: Steuben's Moscow Mule

December 2008
Most of us already know and love Steuben's for the cozy eats (don't skip the lobster roll, the fried chicken, or the gravy fries), but the restaurant is also a haven for cocktail enthusiasts. Bar manager Sean Kenyon oversees a menu of 26 drinks (not including beer and wine), and he's a self-proclaimed history buff. When asked about the roots of the classic Moscow Mule--an easy-to-sip blend of Sobieski vodka, Barritt's Ginger Beer, and lime served in a copper mug--he took me back to the end of World War II. That's when John Martin, owner of the slow-selling Smirnoff vodka, gathered with likeminded friends (who happened to have an overstock of ginger beer and copper mugs) and dreamt up the Moscow Mule. The cocktail was heavily marketed in Hollywood, and movie stars ordering the cocktail received a customized mug. The Moscow Mule took off and--along with the Screwdriver, the Bloody Mary, and the Vodkatini--is largely responsible for vodka's popularity today. Sixty-some years later, the refreshing drink is among our favorites, be it winter or summer. Bonus: Tonight, the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, Kenyon unveils Steuben's winter cocktail menu. Look for classics like the Moscow Mule, as well as a number of inspired new sips. 523 E. 17th Ave., 303-830-1001