Report: Drinking Moscow Mules from copper mugs could make you sick

Posted at 10:31 AM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 10:31:15-04

Moscow Mule cocktails are very popular but the cool copper cup that the drink comes in could make you sick.

The cocktail includes just a few ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, lime and ice. But it is the traditional copper mug- that authorities are sounding the alarm about.

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division says the copper from the mugs can be leached into food. It conducted a study and concluded using the signature mug for any liquid or food with a pH balance of below 6 could result in food poisoning or copper poisoning.

Officials say copper should not come into contact with acidic foods with a pH below 6, and that includes vinegar, fruit juice, wine, and the traditional Moscow Mule. “When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food,” the division notes. This can cause stomach pains, unpleasant trips to the bathroom or worse. Severe poisoning can cause liver failure and even death.

Moscow Mule enthusiasts can still indulge in the beverage with a copper cup, just make sure the cup isn't real copper. Officials say mugs that look like copper but are actually stainless steel, nickel, or another metal are safe.