As a banker and a woman, I have heard a lot of “cock “n bull” stories in my life. Most are mendacious, bordering on pure fraud. But Sous Chef says there is one cock “n bull story that indubitably is true. The venerable Moscow Mule was created in about 1941 from a collaboration of the owner of the Cock “n” Bull restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and the president of Heublein Brothers as a way to sell their poorly performing ginger beer and Smirnoff vodka, respectively. The concoction was served in a copper mug and its immediate popularity helped make vodka an American staple.
“Mule” or “Buck” cocktails involve a spirit, lime juice, and ginger beer, with the Moscow version using vodka. But other spirits can be used, only the name is changed to protect the original Moscow Mule.
I love the Moscow Mule. It is light, refreshing, and the copper mug adds charisma and keeps the drink cold. During the summer months, Sous Chef orders two so he can place one on each side of his head for maximum cooling between sips.
But I am the Culinary Diva and I like to experiment. The Shishito Pepper rage has been sweeping the nation over the past 5 years, occupying in its roasted/blistered form a spot on many happy-hour menus. About 1 in 10 Shishito Peppers is spicy so this is the ideal pepper for those like me who enjoy a little heat without scorching their taste-buds. Plus I like the odds better than getting the 1 in 100 relatively mild jalapeño or habanero pepper.
The Shishito Pepper Mule kicks-up an esteemed drink a notch or two without compromising its inherent refreshing qualities. Cock ‘n Bull lasted 50 years until its closing in 1987 and its Moscow Mule has enjoyed a resurgence in the past few years. Let’s hope the Shishito Pepper Mule has a similar run.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3-4 sliced shishito peppers
- Place sugar and water in a pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir and continue cooking until sugar has dissolved.
- Add sliced Shishito Peppers and continue to cook about 10-15 minutes longer until Shishito Peppers have been infused into to simple syrup. Color will be slight light green.
- Strain peppers from mixture and store in refrigerator until needed.
- 1 ounce shishito pepper simple syrup
- ½ sliced shishito pepper (about 5-6 slices)
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces vodka
- Ginger Beer
- lime slice (for garnish)
- additional shishito pepper slices and/or blistered shishito pepper for garnish
- Place shishito pepper simple syrup, 5-6 shishito pepper slices, and ½ ounce fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker and muddle for approximately 30 seconds. Add Vodka and stir to combine ingredients.
- Fill copper mug (or glass) halfway with ice and pour mixture over ice. Stir to combine with ice. Add more ice and top with Ginger Beer. Give quick stir to combine and garnish with lime slice and shishito pepper slices. For additional flair add a blistered shishito pepper to glass.