There’s a lot of misunderstanding out there when it comes to drinking out of a copper mug and most of it stems from a misunderstanding of copper itself and whether or not it presents a health hazard. Curiously people don’t have this kind of apprehension when it comes to drinking from mugs or ceremonial cups made of gold, silver, zinc or tin. But for some reason copper seems to make folks nervous. So in this post we’re going to take a closer look at copper, demonstrate why there’s absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to drinking from an unlined copper mug and also delve into the benefits tin-lined copper mugs present as well. Let’s start with a common misconception:
Copper is a heavy metal so if you drink out of an unlined copper mug some of it will leach into your drink and poison you.
Rubbish. Copper is a necessary part of human biology. Copper plays a crucial role in the functioning of the metabolic system and vital organs. It also helps ensure the synapses in the brain fire with optimal efficiency and that your body produces health blood cells. The body also has naturally occurring mechanisms in place to deal with excess levels of copper in the system. On the other hand copper deficiency is a serious condition that can cause severe blood disorders and has been linked to osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and even colon cancer.
Drink to Your Health from Copper Cups
A growing number of people are suffering from copper deficiency and the causes have left most health professionals baffled. To such people, ingesting trace amounts of copper from a Moscow Mule mug can actually be good for their health. For those with adequate copper levels in their system the tiny amount they’d get from the mug will be easily expelled from their body by the aforementioned natural mechanisms without ever being noticed. So the next time someone tells you it’s dangerous to drink from a copper mug remind them of this:
According to the World Health Organization "there is greater risk of health effects from deficiency of copper intake than from excess copper intake."
And then ask them if they’d like to join you for a refreshing Moscow Mule served in one of your beautiful unlined copper cups. I know you wouldn’t have to ask me twice.
Tin: the Silver Lining of the Moscow Mule Mug
Let’s be clear on something right up front: copper mugs are lined with tin or some other metal like zinc primarily to make people feel better; not for any health reason. But because there are folks out there that won’t buy the science involved in proving unlined copper drinking mugs are safe, manufacturers line their mugs, even though they don’t need to. The upside is that tin lined mugs have their own benefits including:
- The pure drink experience: A pure copper mug will have a discrete effect on the taste of your drink. Many people appreciate this while others want the pure experience of the cocktail’s ingredients. A tin lining will prevent the copper from exuding its (admittedly tiny) influence on the taste of your drink, providing you a pure, clean cocktail experience.
- Tin linings are sometimes required by law: Some municipalities require your copper cookware or mugs/cups to be lined. This has more to do with health inspectors being overly zealous and wanting to appear to be ‘protecting’ the public than it does with any health threat from unlined mugs. Still, the law is the law so if you want to serve Moscow Mules in your establishment you’ll probably need to have lined mugs.
- Tin linings look great: While pure copper Moscow Mule mugs are easy on the eye, a copper mug lined with satin finish or high polished tin is in an aesthetic category of its own. The interaction of the two metals seems completely natural and puts a more refined spin on the old world appeal of the copper drinking mug.
- Keep it cool: It’s a good idea to chill your Mule mugs before use as the copper will help keep the drink cooler, longer. Add a tin lining to your mug and the refrigeration qualities of the cup will be even more pronounced with your Mule retaining its chilly appeal right down to the last drop of ginger beer.
While many manufacturers make tin mugs that are merely copper plated Paykoc tin-lined copper mugs are a solid copper mug with a true interior tin lining making them an easy choice for your bar or restaurant if quality and longevity matter to you. This also means that you can get a true custom engraving performed on your mugs into solid copper whereas a copper-plated mug would flake off the second it hit an engraver leaving the silver tin showing through.
Unlined copper Moscow Mule mugs present no safety or health issues. In fact, drinking from them can be beneficial if you’re one of the millions of people that suffer from copper deficiency. At the same time if you’re after an elevated aesthetic experience and want to make sure your drink stays cold right down to the last drop a tin-lined mug might be just the thing for you.