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All in the family: Moscow Mule champion JJ Resnick keeps it copper

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JJ Resnick just unleashed cocktail book Mulehead
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For Moscow Copper Co. president and “chief muleman”

JJ Resnick, the Moscow Mule is much more than a refreshing, classic cocktail.

In 1941, a Russian immigrant and daughter of a coppersmith named Sophie Berezinski traveled to America to sell copper mugs. No one seemed interested, so Sophie pedaled the dishware door to door in Hollywood, where she met Jack Morgan, owner of the Cock ’n’ Bull pub, and Smirnoff Vodka owner John Martin. Together, Resnick says, they created the Moscow Mule, concocted in Sophie’s artisan copper mug.

Seventy-five years later, the story of Resnick’s great-grandmother continues to bring Moscow Copper Co. to life. “I had grown up listening to [my parents] talk about Sophie and the Moscow mule, but nobody had any intention of getting into the business,” Resnick says. Then he realized most mules were served in copper-plated imposters. “I saw those mugs and realized they were nothing like the original mug that I had,” he says, having inherited the mug in which the very first mule was made.

Resnick hired a scientist to determine why copper is essential to the Moscow Mule—you can learn about it in Mulehead, a recipe book for Mule lovers—and an app is currently in development, so you can soon search for bars serving the cocktail in official MCC mugs.

And Resnick says the Muleseum—in a space at the top of Palms Place—will be ready by summer, complete with the original mug on display and Moscow Mules on draft. For Resnick, it’s about sharing his family story with fellow Mule lovers. “I want to show the world that this is the mug this was made to be consumed in.”

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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