5 Things You Need To Know About Solid Copper Mugs

Robert Garcia 08/01/2014 43

Why does a Moscow Mule have to be in solid copper mugs

Copper mugs helps to make your Moscow Mule and other beverage feel super chilling in hot summer. Copper has a very high thermal conductivity so the coldness from your Mule will fly into your hands, lips and throat at an amazing rate. It will feel exactly as the icy drink. This is not possible to get that from a high ball glass.

Moscow_mule_in_solid_copper_mugsAnd copper mugs have become an essential ingredient for Moscow Mule. So many people claimed that the Mule they made at home feel not right as they experienced in bars, and found the copper cups were the source of that.  As for me, copper mug’s natural features account for half and the emotional needs for another 50 percent. To be fair, I can’t have mule without a copper cup.

Keep in mind only solid copper mugs have the superior heat conductivity to give the thrilling feel you want, any plated ones would be eliminated from your shop list.

Be it safe to drink from a copper mug

First thing you have to know about copper safety is copper exists in the human body and other animals. Copper acts as necessary components of some enzymes for us. Taking copper is vital for we cannot synthesize it. The ancients used to store water in copper wares and drink in the same in the next morning. That was recommended as a way to maintain good health.

Whether is safe to drink from a copper mug depends on these following respects:

  • Are your copper cups are lined with tin or stainless steel or not

Any copper mug with a tin lining or stainless steel will be very safe to be used for any drink even at a high temperature. Because the lining interior can prevent leakage or reaction of copper with the ingredient within your drink. But lining material like stainless steel has no thermal conductivity like copper, a lined copper holder may not feel good as a pure one.

  • What drink you want your cooper mug to hold, whether it is hot or not

For drink from those pure unlined copper mugs, the safety depends on two sides the drink itself and the temperature.  Hot and acidic drink can accelerate copper leakage and possible reaction with copper. However, we usually don’t intend to have a hot water with a copper mug. So if you want some cold acidic beverage get yourself a glass instead of a copper one. The glass can resist acid.

So in conclusion from every respect, there is no obvious evidence that consuming cold beverages like Moscow Mule or beer with solid unlined copper mugs is harmful.

What’s size should I choose when getting an copper mug?

As the traditional Moscow Mule recipe suggest the liquid ingredients are:

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 to 6 ounces ginger beer

Total amount will be 7-9 ounces plus 1/3-1/2 cup of ice cubes. A typical Moscow Mule is about 14 –16 ounces. So any copper mug less than 12 ounces or too more than 20 ounces is not adequate for a Classic Moscow Mule recipe. I suggest anyone who wants it get a copper mug with a volume between 16-20 ounce. You can go to our homepage to compare those I selected based on this right size.

>-Click here to see our copper mug comparison table

Where can I buy a copper mug and how much does a copper mug cost?

Copper mugs are certainly not easy to find in your local market. Some sellers actually have never offered any copper products for limited demanding. Therefore the rational method will be online stores. You can purchase ideal copper mugs online. There are various sizes and lots of shapes can easily match your needs. Walmart, Overstock and Amazon are all good sources for copper mugs, and of course Amazon is my favorite as countless others.

Solid copper mugs are not some cheap kitchen stuffs. A typical solid 16 ounce mug may cost you about 20–30 bucks. Price variations are mainly caused by different making method. Totally hand hammered copper mugs are cherished by any Moscow Mule fan for the uniqueness they archive.

>-Click here to go to Amazon.com to get your own solid copper mug

How Do You Clean a Copper Mug?

Copper mug can last long under care. Wash your copper mugs especially unlined ones in hot, soapy water immediately after use. Dry immediately with a towel and do not store in closed space. Some professional copper cleaners may work better. We have a detailed post about this question
>-Click here to read our guidance about how to clean your copper mug

How to choose a best copper mug?

If you cares more about the quality and want a fine copper mug to give a serious long companion. These are some useful tips that may help.
>-Click here to read our tips about how to choose a right copper mug


  1. Aleiya 08/04/2014 at pm3:27 - Reply

    Thanks so much for this website.
    When you said:
    ‘So in conclusion from every respect, there is obvious evidence that consuming cold beverages like Moscow Mule or beer with solid unlined copper mugs is harmful.’

    Did you mean to write: is NOT harmful?

    • moscowmuleadmin 08/14/2014 at am5:57 - Reply

      There are no evidence that is harmful. And from experience of other gourmet like Paella, which used to be cooked within an unlined copper pan. There has no complain about the safety of this delicious food.
      Paella within an unlined copper pan
      So I personally mean drinking cold beer or cocktail from copper mug is Not harmful.

  2. Rob 10/10/2014 at am10:06 - Reply

    Um, you might want to take biology before you start spouting off claims about health issues.

    Copper is found in low concentrations in the human body as well as lead and arsenic, just because it’s natural to have a small amount of a heavy metal doesn’t mean I should willingly ingest more.

    People have historically used copper for many reasons. Copper is easily formed into complex shapes, it melts at a relatively low tempeture, it is catalytic, and copper surfaces have been proven to kill bacteria, even in water stored in pots. The Greeks figured this method of killing water born pathogens 3000 years ago. Likely by observation.

    The best cookware in the world, is sometimes left raw and sometimes tin lined, depending on thier uses. A stock pot for tomato sauce will always be tin lied. The acid not only will damage the copper but load your sauce with a foul taste and poisonous amounts of copper. Not instant death mind you but i would assert if you ate sphegetti from said method once a week for a year your gonna be on dialysis week 53.

    You clean and dissolve copper in weak acids, like(drum roll please) vineger and lemon juice the weakest acid that will disolve copper. Don’t believe me fill a shot glass with white vi ager and drop a pre 1980 penny into it come back 2 days later and them a week later and you will see a totally dissolved penny in a green muck. So a strongly acidic drink like this in my opinion should be served in a pure tin lined cup. Not nickel whic outside of stainless steel should never touch food. Ever hear of nickel itch ?


    • Robert Garcia 10/10/2014 at pm7:14 - Reply

      Thank you for your comment. I am just here to offer a method to clean copper mug. Do you ever notice my picture? The last step for this is to wash all remains of acid material and dry the copper mug. I never mentioned about hold acid with a copper mug even with the lined ones.

  3. colton t 11/20/2014 at pm1:04 - Reply

    Is it bad to drink cold brew coffee out of a pure copper mug?

    As of right now Im experiencing some effects similar to a magic mushroom trip with a headache and cannot attribute it to anything i’ve eaten or done today other than using my copper mug when i poured the cold brew.

    Its not the first time i’ve drank coffee this way (using copper mug). But first time with any effect… plus my mug seems a little discolored on the inside..

    • moscowmuleadmin 11/20/2014 at pm11:00 - Reply

      I am very sorry to hear what happened to you. But I don’t think that is the copper mug issue. Although you mentioned about the discoloration of the interior of your copper mug it seems like you are suffering some acute bacterial infection of bowels but not copper intoxication, which usually caused by chronic accumulation of copper not by a rush account intake.

  4. bonnie ballard 11/24/2014 at pm8:39 - Reply

    I found an old Moscow Mule copper mug in my fathers items It has a stamp on the bottom that reads “cock n bull product” on the bottom and the Moscow Mule on the front of mug In excellent shape would like to find another one if possible If you can give me a little history on this mug would be appreciated. Thanks

    • moscowmuleadmin 11/25/2014 at am1:35 - Reply

      Congratulations! Your Moscow Mule copper mug is the original one from Cock’n’bull bar, Cock 'n' Bull Bar the first palace of Moscow Mule
      It is where the legend of Moscow Mule began. It will be hard find the same copper mug on the market. But if your are interested in the history of the famous Vodka based cocktail, We have a post about all secrets about its invention.

      Secrets of Moscow Mule History

  5. peggy 12/04/2014 at pm9:14 - Reply

    Are copper mugs with a tin lining a good choice? William Sonoma sells a 16 oz mug with copper lining. Or, is there a better lining to shop & buy?

    • moscowmuleadmin 12/05/2014 at am6:58 - Reply

      If you just want to do it with Moscow Mule I suggest a unlined one. If you want your copper mugs to serve as a drink cup for cold beer or something else that suitable for them you can get a lined one. And yes tin is the most traditional lining metal for copper the result will be better than stainless steel.

  6. Vicki 01/08/2015 at am10:01 - Reply

    I recently purchased two unlined pure copper mugs. We made moscow mules in them and both noticed a pretty bad metallic taste that ruined the drink and we couldn’t drink them. We also noticed immediate discoloration and rings inside the mug that look greenish/dark. I know the pure copper is supposed to enhance the flavor, but this was undrinkable. We both have had many moscow mules and many out of copper and have never noticed this. Could it be that the mugs are not actually pure copper and my manufacturer (an etsy store) was not accurate? Or should they be treated with something? Thanks.

    • moscowmuleadmin 01/09/2015 at pm4:35 - Reply

      What you said would not easily be encountered with a 100% pure copper Moscow Mule mug. For my own experience it is likely related with the quality of your mug.

  7. Tara D 01/25/2015 at pm4:28 - Reply

    Discoloration and oxidization with copper is completely natural. I highly doubt any of these cups are 100% copper- its probably an alloy of some kind. If there is no tarnishing then there is likely some type coating. Hence, no health benefits but only fit for use as a drinking vessel.

  8. Lena 01/31/2015 at am9:57 - Reply

    Could you please advise whether the Copper Mug by “10 Strawberry Street” with a nickel lining is suitable for ALL kinds of cold beverages? Is nickel considered being not harmful? Thank you .

    • Robert Garcia 02/01/2015 at pm10:22 - Reply

      Nickel linings are superior over tin, It can stand a higher temperature can provide more wear resistance. Unless you have an allergy to this metal the cup will be safe for most beverages you want it for.

  9. yaya 02/06/2015 at am11:30 - Reply

    Hi sorry, I need help. I’d like to buy some copper mule mugs as a gift, however, I do not know if I should buy the “lined” or “unlined.”

    I am looking into the shiny Copper 16-Oz hammered Exterior, but the interior I need help with.

    I like how the copper-goldish interior looks, but what would these qualify as lined or unlined?
    Also, I found mugs at Pier1 Imports. However, they had a silver lining on the inside & the outside copper doesn’t look as beautiful/resilient as the ones on Amazon.

    I think the copper-goldish inside looks nicer, but I would like to be better informed which I should buy so I give a good gift (not just based on looks).
    Thank you =)

  10. moscowmuleadmin 02/06/2015 at pm10:01 - Reply

    This is a hard for me to recommend a best looking Mule Mug. My fav is a totally solid unlined hand hammered Mug, that is purely for drink Mule. When it comes to beer or other cold beverage I use a tin lined Old Dutch.

  11. sandy 02/07/2015 at pm3:45 - Reply

    I bought a Stolichnaya copper mug how do I tell if it is real or not. It looks too pinkish. Did not discolor when used and the inside looks the same as the outside

    • moscowmuleadmin 02/09/2015 at am5:04 - Reply

      You can compare your mug with a stainless steel cup of proximate volume and shape. Copper mug will be heavier than your stainless steel cup. That is the most easy way to judge whether your mug is solid copper or not.

      Another practical and way is to measure the density. First you get a kitchen scale to weigh your mug. Second use a big measuring cup to get the volume of the wall of your mug, put your mug in then submerge it with water, the D-value is the number we want. Then you can calculate the density of it.

      Copper density is about copper 8.96 gram/cm3. If your mug is solid copper your result will be around this number.

  12. addam 05/24/2015 at pm2:45 - Reply

    Having worked copper using sinking, raising, chasing and repousage techniques I can tell you that when it is heat it anneals and also discolors. Now that would far exceed drink temps, but heating it is changing the crystal structure and annealing it or making it sift again for more hammering. Once it is soft the next step is to pickle it or dunk it is a light acidic solution. This removes the discoloration during the heating and softening steps by etching the metal. Then after pickling you neutralize the acid in water. So an acidic solution such as the ingredients of a Moscow Mule would make an etching on the surface of the unlined mug. There is almost no application, knowing what I know about working copper, that I would use an unlined vessel for drinking or cooking.

  13. MaryJoe 06/13/2015 at pm5:51 - Reply

    Just purchased a ‘West Bend Aluminum Co., West Bend, WIS., U.S.A. SOLID COPPER’ mug. Any idea of what it is worth? Interested in starting a collection for my love of mules.

  14. Michael 06/24/2015 at am4:10 - Reply

    I’ve been drinking out of pure copper contianer for over 40 year’s and I feel fine. I learned from the buddist to drink out of copper cups. If it’s good enough for the buddist who has been doing it for over 800 year’s, it’s good enough for me.

  15. Alpha 06/27/2015 at pm12:45 - Reply

    Hi, I have a question about my copper mugs. They are full copper inside and out. I store them in our rv trailer so we can have drinks at the lake. But when the trailer is not in use and all sealed up, it gets pretty warm inside. Will this kind of heat/humidity have a negative effect on the overall care of the mugs?

  16. Tony 08/15/2015 at am7:46 - Reply

    How do I clean the silver lining on the inside of my cup? Forgot to wash it out after a night.

  17. Terry 08/24/2015 at pm4:58 - Reply

    Mules and more mules.
    I own a vodka company. One night I’m in a bar listening to people at the bar order drinks. This one guy orders a MOSCOW MULE but he wants ZIMS VODKA ( which was music to my ears). As I watched the bartender make the drink, here’s what I noticed.
    She reached for what was suppose to be a copper mug by Russian Standard Vodka with the paint on the logo half rubbed off. She loaded it with ice, ( it looked like a 12 ounce mug) put 2 ounces of vodka, squeezed a couple shots of lime juice from a bottle, filled it with a ginger beer I’d never heard of and served up the drink.
    This was when I realized that THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY.
    I went to the office the next day and began doing research. We went with the 18 ounce stainless steel mugs. We had our logo etched on the mug to eliminate the paint chipping look. We call our libation the POLISH EAGLE. It’s the same recipe except we use our internationally award winning and gluten free vodka, fresh squeezed lime juice and a 4.0/5 or better ginger beer.

  18. HC 09/07/2015 at pm5:17 - Reply

    Good article! A couple of tips from someone who spins up a lot of Mules:

    * for a new twist, try muddling in some fruit like blueberries, raspberries, mangoes or strawberries into your drink.

    * the best ginger beers are Fever Tree and Q…those 2 have the strongest ginger bite. All of the others we’ve tried are milder in ginger flavor but certainly get the job done. If you plan to mix in muddled fruit, lighter ginger beer works perfectly b/c the fruit slightly masks the stronger ginger beer flavor you’ll find in Fever Tree or Q ginger beer.

    * chill your mugs in the freezer for at least 30 minutes prior to using…it really kicks things up a notch and keep drinks colder ever longer, especially in the summertime.

    * never put your mugs (solid copper or stainless steel) into the dishwasher. Take 2 minutes to wash and dry by hand…this will keep them looking great for years, reduce the risk of tarnishing and help you maximize your investment into copper mugs.

    * while we manufacture only 100% solid copper mugs, IMO, the only difference b/t those and stainless steel mugs is the price point and look. Many like the pure copper look through and through…others are indifferent so if you’re in this category, go with stainless steel. We’re planning on doing some side by side research to see if solid copper or stainless steel mugs keep a drink colder. Should be interesting to see what the analysis says.

    Robert: we’d love to have our mugs listed in your matrix on the front page at some point in time. Like you, we’re “honest people” but our copper mugs have been very well received in the market place and feel should be included in your “best of the best” analysis. Reach out to me (harrison@drinkwareessentials.com) anytime and thanks in advance for the consideration.

    Oh…and keep up the great work on the site! Really good stuff!



  19. Stacey 09/07/2015 at pm8:13 - Reply

    Does that mean I cannot put acidic drink like coke or lemonade in pure unlined copper mugs?

    • moscowmuleadmin 09/07/2015 at pm8:16 - Reply

      Better not

  20. HC 09/07/2015 at pm10:13 - Reply

    Respectfully, how can drinking a Moscow Mule with vodka (or rum…just as tasty 🙂 be *less acidic* than coke or lemonade? This is the first time I’ve heard some say its fine to drink alcohol out of a an unlined copper mug but not soda. Would love to better understand this b/c you have me very confused. Thanks.

  21. terry olson 09/23/2015 at pm7:11 - Reply

    great feed back. Our customers really enjoy copper Moscow Mule Mugs.

  22. Thom 09/26/2015 at pm11:55 - Reply

    For all those who are concerned with the safety of drinking from a copper mug…the plumbing in any modern home or office is made of copper. The water you drink flows through those copper pipes (unless you consume bottled water exclusively). Just avoid acidic liquids such as citrus, tomato or vinegars (ciders).

    • moscowmuleadmin 11/01/2015 at pm11:19 - Reply

      Yes and not along time ago, copper is widely used in hospital for its natural ability to kill bacteria.

  23. Monica Miller 10/07/2015 at pm6:45 - Reply

    I have a copper mug that says, a Cock and Bull product 28th a picture of a cock nd bull but it doesn’t say Moscow Mule. Is it a knockoff???

  24. Jennifer 11/01/2015 at am1:26 - Reply

    I keep hearing the author and others mention how copper is so safe unless there is ACID in it like “vinegar.” What the heck do you all think lime juice is? It’s acidic as hell. I can’t understand how anybody thinks it is safe to consume a drink with lime juice in it, made in a solid copper mug.
    Lime juice, lemon juice, tomatoes, vinegar equals ACID.

    Unlined copper pans have been used for years for jams or sugar and caramel pans, but NOT for acidic stuff like lime juice.

    • moscowmuleadmin 11/01/2015 at pm11:15 - Reply

      I am sure that a short time for drinks you mentioned will be OK with a copper mug

  25. Dave Krumm 01/03/2016 at am6:25 - Reply

    I hand make copper cups and do not use any type of liners or sealants. If you try a pure copper cup, you will not use a lined or sealed cup again. I have drank all types of beverages out of my cups daily and never had a problem. They are easy to clean by simply washing immediately after use and drying thoroughly. If they become dull, simply use a 000 steel wool pad to clean. I believe quality of copper used is very important to produce a safe cup. Bottoms up.

    • moscowmuleadmin 01/04/2016 at pm7:24 - Reply

      Thanks a lot for sharing your own experience about copper cups with us. Would you please write us a post about how you make copper mugs. It will be very welcome!

  26. buffy 01/25/2016 at am8:42 - Reply

    I received copper mugs and a small copper picture for Christmas I was told to put water in the picture at night and drink it in the morning and in the evening for digestive health when I poured the water out in the morning it had somewhat discolored does this mean that there is something wrong with my picture am i consuming too much copper

    • moscowmuleadmin 01/26/2016 at am5:41 - Reply

      Taking water from copper bottle would be helpful for health is just an Indian rumor. We only need very very little amount of copper through daily meals. Discoloration always means your copper item is not 100% pure.

  27. Chiara 06/21/2016 at am6:04 - Reply

    You are rightfully confused because this post is deceitful, forgetting to mention that yes, lime juice does make a drink acidic, therefore unsuitable for consumption in an unlined copper mug.

    There’s not much room for debate on the topic.
    Acidic drink in unlined copper = unhealthy.
    Lime juice based drink in unlined copper = unhealthy.

    Buddist monks drink water out of copper mugs not lime juice based drinks. Sorry for coming off as terribly abrupt but I think the author should not trifle with people’s health…

    • moscowmuleadmin 06/21/2016 at pm10:10 - Reply

      Lime juice,as a diluted Moscow Mule ingredient, is not acid enough to cause unhealthy reaction.

  28. Kristy B. Miller 11/07/2016 at pm10:18 - Reply

    I recently got a copper mug for myself and I’m extremely happy with it. I enjoy my drinks specially a Moscow mule tastes way better in a copper mug. If you say that its not beneficial to health then you are wrong.

    Water stored in copper vessel provides required amount of copper to human body. If you are bothered about its tarnishing or oxidizing then there is no point to worry, since its pure copper it will get tarnished.There are many methods to regain its original shine.

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