Episode 014 - Bar Cart Q&A

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What’s shakin, cocktail fans?

This podcast has been on the air for a very brief 3 months at this point. That’s a quarter of a year. A full summer. 90 days. However you want to think about it. To me, that feels like a very short time, but then I pull up the Modern Bar Cart inbox, and I see all the listener-generated questions that have piled up during those three months.

So, this episode is all about you folks--the listeners who make this podcast exciting by sending along your questions and comments. We’re gonna take a virtual field trip through the Modern Bar Cart mailbag today, and we’ll see if I can’t shed some light on some of the most pressing cocktail dilemmas our fans are facing.

Featured Cocktail: The Moscow Mule


Today’s featured cocktail is the Moscow Mule, and yes, we’ve got a mailbag question about Moscow Mules...but even if we didn’t, it’s still a delicious cocktail that everybody should know how to make.

If you couldn’t tell by the name, this is a vodka-based cocktail--probably one of the better-known vodka drinks behind the vodka martini and the White Russian. It’s spicy, stimulating, and transcends seasons, which makes it really unique. Unlike a margarita or a mojito, which are very summery cocktails, you’re not gonna raise any eyebrows if you serve up Moscow Mules during the winter.

Moscow Mule Recipe

  • 1.5 - 2 oz of vodka
  • 4 ounces of ginger beer
  • the juice of about ¼ to ½ of a lime. 

Two things are noteworthy about this recipe:

  1. Instead of shaking or stirring in a mixing glass, you can build this cocktail right in the glass, which is a time saver.
  2. Notice that the vodka and lime juice amounts are just estimates. Some people like their drinks stronger or weaker when it comes to booze and acidity, and this recipe makes it really easy to tailor the cocktail to your individual palate.

One last pro-tip. If I’m making a Moscow Mule in the winter, I usually like to add a nice bass note to this really light, effervescent drink. So I use the same recipe, but I’ll float several healthy dashes of Embitterment Aromatic Bitters right on top before I serve it up. And the nice thing about these particular aromatic bitters is that they emphasize a lot of those comforting spice notes that are popular during the holidays--cinnamon, star anise, cloves--and these flavors really add depth to a regular Moscow Mule. So, if that sounds tasty to you, head over to modernbarcart.com and grab a bottle today.

Show Notes

Here, we're going to list the questions posed by our listeners...but if you want the answers, you'll have to check out the podcast episode, which can be played using the audio player on this web page or by visiting any of your favorite podcasting apps.

Copper Mugs: Toxic or Not?

Hi Eric,

I’m a big fan of the podcast, I listen to it with my boyfriend every weekend. I was hoping you could clear up a question about Moscow Mules.

I’ve got a girlfriend who has a set of copper mugs and she says that’s the only way to drink a Moscow Mule. But I saw an article this week that said they’re toxic! Is that true, and if so, how do I break it to my girlfriend so I don’t crush her enthusiasm.

-Jenny from Texas

Large Format Cocktails for a Crowd

Greetings Modern Bar Cart Team,

Love the podcast so far and hoping you can help with ideas for an upcoming party. My wife and I are having a bunch of friends over for our 20th wedding anniversary and we’re looking to serve cocktails for about 30 people. I know you’ve mentioned punch and other batched cocktails on the podcast before and was hoping you’d be able to share a few of your favorite recipes.

-Steve from Washington State

Are Spirits Gluten-Free?

I have a gluten intolerance and I’m looking for spirits that will allow me to enjoy my cocktails without worrying about having a reaction. Are there specific spirits that are gluten-free?

-Chantal from Richmond, VA

New Products for Modern Bar Cart?

Hi Eric,

I heard you mention that you’ve been doing a lot of flavor development recently, and I can’t help but ask if there’s any new products on the horizon. I love your lavender bitters, but now you’ve got me curious.

Any chance you’ll share what you’re working on?

-Elizabeth from Arizona