William Smith's Cocktail of the Week

William Smith is not only one of my dear friends, he's also a bang up food stylist. Watching him cook and style is like watching a painter take to the canvas...yes, he is that good. Whenever I'm lucky enough to be on a shoot with him, talk naturally drifts to our latest, greatest meal or cocktail. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy (with a European style cooking focus, natch), William is always interested in the story behind a cocktail.

The birthplace of "Little Moscow" was in New York's Chatham Hotel. That was back in 1941 when the first carload of Jack Morgan's Cock 'n' Bull ginger beer was railing over the plains to give New Yorkers a happy surprise... 

Three friends were in the Chatham bar, one John A. Morgan, known as Jack, president of Cock 'n' Bull Products and owner of the Hollywood Cock 'n' Bull Restaurant; one was John G. Martin, and the third was Rudolph Kunett, president of the Pierre Smirnoff, Heublein's vodka division. As Jack Morgan tells it, "We three were quaffing a slug, nibbling an hors d'oeuvre and shoving toward inventive genius". Martin and Kunett had their minds on their vodka and wondered what would happen if a two-ounce shot joined with Morgan's ginger beer and the squeeze of a lime. 

Ice was ordered, limes procured, mugs ushered in and the concoction put together. Cups were raised, the men counted five and down went the first taste. It was good. It lifted the spirit to adventure. Four or five later the mixture was christened the Moscow Mule...

1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 oz Vodka
4 to 6 oz Ginger Beer

Squeeze lime juice into a mug, dropping in spent shell
Add 2 to 3 ice cubes, then pour in vodka
Fill with cold ginger beer

Serve with a stirring rod, if so inclined.