If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest recently (and who hasn’t?!), you’ve probably seen those sparkly copper mugs everyone has been using for their Moscow Mules. And while they are certainly a pretty sight to behold, you might be unintentionally poisoning yourself.
According to the FDA’s food code, “Copper and copper alloys such as brass may not be used in contact with a food that has a pH below 6 such as vinegar, fruit juice, or wine.” Because the pH of a traditional Moscow Mule — made using vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice — is lower than 6, it’s not safe to consume them in copper mugs. If you do, you run the risk of consuming harmful chemicals which have leaked off the mug because of the liquid’s acidity. Yikes!
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Per the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an extension of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “If you drink water that contains higher than normal levels of copper, you may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, or diarrhea. Intentionally high intakes of copper can cause liver and kidney damage and even death.” Scary!
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But if you’re determined to have your cake and eat it too, there is a correct way to enjoy Moscow Mules in beautiful glasses.
“Copper mugs lined on the interior with another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel, are allowed to be used and are widely available,” reads the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division’s bulletin.
Phew! If you’re determined to say cheers this weekend, just make sure you’ve got a lined mug before you do so.
Not a fan of Moscow Mules? Try these fancy mojito recipes!