Once long forgotten, the Moscow Mule rose from the ashes of its status as a cocktail has-been to become a modern cocktail of choice. Now, it seems like practically every establishment has a slew of Mules on the menu – great news for those of us that enjoy this zippy all-season cocktail.
However, with the sheer amount of Mules available today, seemingly covering every fruit, liquor, and carbonated alternative known to mankind, we have a few questions. Where did this drink come from in the first place? What makes a mule a Mule? And – perhaps most importantly – how can we drink more of them?
The Original Mule
Liquor lore is full of coincidences, and the series of events that led up to the original Moscow Mule is no different. In 1939, the Smirnoff brand was a tiny, struggling vodka company that had just been bought out by John G. Martin for $14,000. To promote sales, Martin approached a number of business owners, including the owner of the Cock N’ Bull bar in Hollywood. Unfortunately, neither the vodka or the bar’s house-brewed ginger beer sold according to expectations and by 1941, both were desperate.
Depending on who you ask, either Martin or the Cock N’ Bull’s bartender at the time – a man by the name of Wes Price – got the idea to clear out the bar’s storeroom and push a concoction of ginger beer and vodka. Around the same time, Sophie Berezinski – a Russian immigrant – came to Hollywood with a stash of 2,000 copper mugs crafted at her father’s copper shop. The cocktail received both a name and a preferred vehicle, and the traditional Moscow Mule was born.
What Makes This Cocktail a Mule?
While the name “Moscow Mule” is attributed to the spicy kick of the ginger beer and the origins of the associated vodka, what truly makes a mule a Mule? After all, it’s possible to find mules made with all sorts of ingredients and a wide variety of liquors. Purists will tell you that a drink isn’t truly a mule unless it’s made with Smirnoff, Cock N’ Bull ginger beer, and served in a copper mug – but we believe variety is the spice of life.
To us, it’s the overall combination of ginger notes, the citrusy zest, the bubbly finish, and the punch of liquor that makes a cocktail a true Mule. If you can find a copper mug to serve it in (the copper really does add a unique taste and serve to chill your drink in a way glass just can’t match), all the better. To celebrate your newfound freedom to try all the mules you can get your hands on, consider these aptly-named alternatives:
Mexican mule – try using a splash of tequila instead of Smirnoff
British mule – take a break from gin, tonic, and lime and use your gin in this similar flavor profile
Caribbean mule – swap out your vodka for some dark, spiced rum
Irish mule – forego the traditional Smirnoff for your favorite Irish whiskey
No matter which Mule you’ve decided to start with, Payless Liquors has a wide selection of liquors and ginger beers perfect for your next Mule experiment. Stop in today, call ahead, or order online to ensure your selections are ready for limited-contact pickup.
Tequila is a staple for warm-weather cocktails, but that doesn’t mean you need to put this spirit away just because the weather is starting to cool down. Patrón is a very versatile liquor that is made from the finest 100% Weber Blue Agave and is distilled in small batches at Hacienda Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. Tequila isn’t just for shots; it can be mixed into classics like Mojitos, Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and Mules.
The Origin of Patrón
John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley founded Patrón in 1989. They started the production in Jalisco, Mexico, and later moved into a different distillery in 2002. The name, Patrón, means a charitable or financially supporting person, but the meaning John and Martin preferred for their brand name was “big boss”. The bee symbol on the bottles represents the strong attraction bees have to the blue agave plant.
How is it made?
By law, tequila must be made from Blue Weber agave in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, Michoacan, and Guanajuato. Since the production process is strictly regulated, tequila can only be labeled and sold by that name if blue agave constitutes over half of the fermented sugars in the drink.
When the agave has ripened they are hand-chopped and the piña, the heart of the plant, is baked in brick ovens. This cooking process softens the piña, making the process of sugar extraction easier. The piñas are then transported to the milling area where they are crushed by a volcanic stone Tahona wheel and a roller mill. This mixture is then fermented for three days, distilled and sometimes aged in handmade barrels. The longer the tequila ages, the more color, and tannins the final product will have.
What are the different types?
There are different classes of tequila but there are only two varieties: 100 percent agave and mixto. Mixto is roughly 51 percent agave, and the rest is made up of water and different sugars during distillation. The general five classes of tequila are Blanco (slightly aged silver or white tequila), Oro (aged for a few months in oak barrels and is gold in color), Reposado (aged at least two months, but no more than a year in white oak barrels), Añejo (aged for a year, but no more than three) and Extra Añejo (aged for three years).
Patrón is great on its own, but with such a wide variety it’s the perfect tequila for almost any mixed cocktail. These flavorful drinks are guaranteed to expand your agave horizons.
- Vampiros Cocktail
- 1 ½ oz. Patrón Reposado
- 3 oz. Sangrita
- 1 ½ oz. Citrus-flavored soda
- ½ Lime, juiced
- 1 pinch Mexican-style chili powder with lime (such as Tajin fruit seasoning)
- Fill a highball glass with ice; pour tequila, sangrita, citrus soda, lime juice, and chili powder. Stir to mix well.
- Blackberry Sage Paloma
- 2 oz. Patrón Silver
- grapefruit juice
- 4 blackberries
- 6 sage leaves
- 2 cane sugar cubes
- In a large cocktail shaker, muddle blackberries, sage and sugar cubes. Add tequila, grapefruit juice, and crushed ice. Shake well pour into a cocktail glass garnish with sage.
- Smoky Harvest Margarita
- 1 ½ – 2 oz. Patrón Añejo
- 4 oz. Apple cider
- 1 oz. Lime juice
- 1-2 tsp. Agave nectar
- Cinnamon powder, Sugar, and Kosher salt for the rim
- Cinnamon sticks and Apple slices for garnish
- In a bowl mix equal parts cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and coat in the sugar mix. Combine tequila, apple cider, lime juice and agave in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until combined and strain into glass. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.
- Reposado Old Fashioned
- 3 oz. Patrón Reposado
- 1 tsp. Agave nectar
- 2 slices Blood orange
- 1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Muddle agave and orange slices in a cocktail shaker then add tequila and ice. Stir and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Add bitters and garnish with orange peel
- Añejo Manhattan
- 2 oz. Patrón Añejo
- 1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Mole bitters
- Combine everything in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a large whiskey cube. Garnish with an orange twist.
Did you know that not all tequilas are genuine tequila? In order to be considered genuine, a tequila must be made with 51% blue agave juice. There are many tequilas out there that aren’t truly genuine. Take Jose Cuervo for example, only contains the bare minimum, 51% agave.
The best tequilas are 100% blue agave, and that’s Corazon Blanco Artisinal Edition. If you actually do get your hands on a bottle of this, you’ll be a lucky one! There were only 60 bottles produced!
Corazon has been releasing its Expression Del Corazon, and Blanco Artisinal Edition is the second expression released. Made with 100% blue Weber agave with its Brix (sugar content) measured before harvest, instead of traditional clear cut.
This expression rested for 60 days in stainless steel bins. It is usually unaged, and bottled straight after distillation at 80 proof. But, the technicalities aren’t the best part of this premium, limited-edition tequila, the flavor profile is.
Nose: Cooked Agave, Herbal citrus, Aniseed and unique notes of Green Apple.
Taste: Sweet, soft mint, eucalyptus, with a slight tang and an impressive agave bite.
Finish: Long, lingering, and smooth.
There really is nothing quite like the tastes of nature and that’s what is so special about this artisanal tequila. The smooth and fresh flavor profile that ranges all the way from sweet to dry and spicy. I mean really think about it. Have you ever had a tequila that you would describe as sweet?
To all tequila enthusiasts out there, this might as well be a collectible. A bottle you save for that perfect occasion and enjoy like no other tequila.
Interested in trying to find a bottle for yourself? You can fill out a request here. Cheers!
The history of tequila is one with many hills and valleys. The spirit began its journey in the public eye as a bad tasting product used solely for the purpose of becoming intoxicated very quickly. However, Ed Brown took this image of tequila in his own hands and followed in the footsteps of Grey Goose to show that it can be enjoyed in more ways than just a shot. Through a switch in marketing tactics and making sure it had a clear presence with certain celebrities, tequila, and Patron in particular grew to be one of if not the most popular spirit in modern social culture. From Chamillionaire to Blondie, Patrón is known to be a favorite vice for the rich and famous.
The tequila itself actually began in the hands of Casa Siete Leguas, one of Mexico’s oldest distilleries. From there the recipe changed hands a few times until it landed at its current home in 1989, and is named for its most popular product, The Patrón Spirits Company.
The distillery uses the very same methods that have been utilized since the dawn of tequila. Because any “tequila” produced outside of the region of Tequila, Mexico can only be called an agave spirit, Patrón is obviously produced in the aforementioned area; the city is called Atontonilco. The process for producing the infamous Patrón tequila begins with the Jimadors (a Mexican farmer who harvest agave) with a tool called a coa. From there, they strip away the exterior to reveal the heart, the piña (if you like piña colaaadas,
and getting caaaught in the rain). After the piñas have been baked in small brick ovens, they are crushed by a two-ton volcanic stone Tahona wheel and a roller mill. (Siete Leguas actually uses a horse drawn stone that goes round and round to crush the cooked piñas, Patrón has moved past this practice to a more man made maneuver.) The resulting product is then fermented for three days, distilled, then aged for varying lengths, ranging from two months to seven years.
The tequila we will be discussing today is at the first end of the spectrum. Patrón Reposado is aged approximately nine months in a French oak (Allier) barrel. This particular choice of wood really comes out in the taste, but we will get to that later.
First, as always, is the nose. The smell is truly what one would expect and then some. We are first greeted in that beginning waft with the familiar smell of agave, and then a calming vanilla swirls through. The first impression of this product is very warm and inviting.
The taste itself is where one can really taste that sweet and cooked agave with the woody undertones from the French oak barrel. It is so pleasant and smooth that it took some serious self-control to keep from just downing the glass instead of doing a real tasting. It is truly delicious and is meant to be tasted, not thrown back.
This all being said, we highly recommend that you reserve your own bottle of Patrón Reposado from your favorite local Payless!
Wooo! Get you some of this! Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage introduces Gas Monkey Cinnamon Tequila. This tequila is 100% blue agave from Mexico, infused with natural cinnamon, 69 proof, and made in America.
Rawlings has held several jobs to feed his car habit including a firefighter, police officer and paramedic all before he was 21 years old. He then went on to build a printing and advertising company that he eventually sold to fund his greatest venture – Gas Monkey Garage. Since 2012, it has been the focus of Discovery Channel’s Fast & Loud.
Here are few Monkey inspired cocktails for you to try:
- 1.5 oz. Gas Monkey Cinnamon Tequila
- cinnamon sugar mix
- lime slice
Rim shot glass with cinnamon sugar. Add chilled Gas Monkey Cinnamon Tequila. Shoot with lime.
- 1.5 oz. Gas Monkey Cinnamon Tequila
- 2.5 oz. agave nectar
- fresh lime juice
- lime slice
Add first three ingredients into an ice- filled shaker. Shake and strain into salt-rimmed rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime slice.
ORANGE PEEL OUT
- 1.5 oz. Gas Monkey Cinnamon Tequila
- 4 oz. orange soda
- fresh jalapeño slice
Mix together over ice and garnish with jalapeño.
Pick up your bottle of Gas Monkey Tequila at your local Payless Liquor stores and keep Saturday, September 5 open. The one and only Richard Rawlings will be at our store located at 9310 N. Michigan Road for a tasting and bottle signing from Noon – 1:30pm. GYSOT!
July 24th is National Tequila Day.
Tequila is a spirit made from the agave plant. Mexico is the only country that can legally produce Tequila and it can only be made in the state of Jalisco and surrounding regions.
Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:
- Blanco (white) or Plata (silver): A white spirit that is unaged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation.
- Joven (young) or Oro (gold): This is an unaged silver tequila that may be flavored with caramel coloring or oak extract. It can also be a blend of silver tequila with aged and/or extra-aged tequila.
- Reposado (rested): Tequila that is aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size.
- Añejo (aged or vintage): Has been aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels.
- Extra Añejo (extra aged or ultra-aged): Tequila that is aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. This category was established in March 2006.
In the late 1990s, Sammy Hagar began selling patrons of his Cabo Wabo resort a house brand, hand-made tequila that he commissioned from a family owned distillery in Jalisco. It became a quick success and by 2006 it was the second-best-selling premium tequila in the US. Cabo Wabo Tequila is bottled in unique, hand-blown artisan glass bottles.
Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco offers an aroma with a fresh, floral bouquet, spicy lime and mint. Flavors of agave and a slight spice character deliver a crisp clean finish. This tequila has won multiple awards including Bronze and Silver at the San Francisco World Spirts Competition and Silver at the 2013 International Wine and Spirts Competition.
Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco is easily enjoyed as a chilled shot or in your favorite cocktail. Here are some recipes to help you celebrate National Tequila Day:
- 3 oz Cabo Blanco Tequila
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz Contreau
- Splash of Grand Marnier
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake several times. Strain, pour, and enjoy.
- 24 oz. (2 bottles) Light Beer
- 12 oz. Can Frozen Limeade
- 8 oz. Cabo Wabo Blanco
Fill pitcher with ice. Add beer, limeade and Cabo. Stir. Throw in some lime wedges. Done.
- 2 oz. Cabo Blanco
- ½. Oz Campari
- ½ oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. simple syrup
Garnish with a grapefruit rind
Payless Liquors has Cabo Wabo Tequila Blanco for just $29.99. You can stop in at any one of our stores or contact us to reserve your bottle online. Please enjoy National Tequila Day responsibly.