Ask the Bartender
In an age where college kids tend bar for extra money and any slob with a rag and a beer opener in their back pocket can call himself a bartender, Lynn Burgett stands apart and embodies the persona of the old fashioned barkeep. Lynn greets customers at Galatoire’s Bistro Baton Rouge by leaning over the bar and shaking their hands. Making the perfect handcrafted cocktail for guests isn’t enough; he needs to know the history behind the drink. He is part master craftsman, part mad chemist and part psychiatrist.
The Good Feast is proud to offer the services of Lynn to Country Roads readers in the form of the column called “Ask the Bartender.” For his first outing, Lynn would like to introduce one of his favorite drinks.

The Moscow Mule


The Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug made by Cock ‘n’ Bull, topped with ginger beer and a lime squeeze. I love the story of the Moscow Mule and what made this the breakout cocktail for vodka circa 1941 by John G. Martin of G.F. Heublein Brothers, Inc., an East Coast spirits and food distributor, and “Jack” Morgan, President of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products, a ginger beer producer and proprietor of the Cock ‘n’ Bull restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

The story goes that John G. Martin purchased an original Polaroid Land Camera in 1947—the first camera of its kind during this period. With his new camera in hand, Martin developed a brilliant marketing scheme to jump-start the sales of his new account, Smirnoff vodka. Martin would travel from bar to bar taking pictures of a bartender or bar manager holding a Moscow Mule mug in one hand and a bottle of Smirnoff in the other. He’d give them a copy and take a second photo to the next bar showing the popularity of the drink and selling them on the next “drink craze”. The bar owners would bite, another photo was taken, onto the next bar and so on. The cocktail made its way from the East Coast to the West with its strongest foundation in Hollywood during the 1950’s where it is reputed that stars and starlets had their own Cock ‘n’ Bull mugs behind the bar with their initials engraved upon the copper mugs. The Moscow Mule slowly faded in the late 1960’s, but was never forgotten.

Moscow mule recipe
1 ½ oz Smirnoff Vodka
3 oz ginger beer. Ginger ale can be used in a pinch
Lime wedge
Glass Highball or a copper mug if you have it

Build the cocktail in a glass with ice. First add vodka. Top with ginger beer and squeeze the lime over the cocktail. Then gently stir. I prefer the copper mug as it complements the citrus and ginger notes in the cocktail.

About Lynn:
“I’ve been tending bar for over thirteen years and traveling the country for seven of those as a bar trainer. The epitome of my passion is the history behind the handcrafted cocktail, the use of fresh super-local ingredients and the techniques used to procure a variety of unique concoctions.”

If you require Lynn’s services, you may find him at Galatoire’s Bistro Baton Rouge on Perkins Road where he holds court as head bartender.

Have a libation related question for our resident bartender? Email