Cooking in Copper: Booze & Copper!

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Sara, here

A while back, there was a scare because of the unlined copper Moscow mule mugs in bars, and how the alcohol can leach copper into a person and poison them.

Well, like anything, too much of a good thing can kill you. You will not get copper poisoning from occasionally drinking out of an unlined copper cup. You’d have to have a few drinks each day in it, and do that for a few decades before you’d want to worry and frankly if you’re drinking that many Moscow mules each day you might have other problems besides copper leaching issues.

The really heavy “indestructible” copper cups at House Copper!

The truth of course is always a bit more complicate. In a perfect world, you’d only drink neutral pH liquids out of an unlined copper cup. That’s like, water. Maybe milk and such. Very weak beer. Things like that.

But copper cups are so lovely, it’s hard to not want to put pretty drinks with a garnish or three out on your bar for a party or just for the heck of it after a long week at work.

So, if you are indeed going to use unlined copper cups (like our 1.17lb ones available HERE), here’s some basics to remember:

  1. Vinegar can make unlined copper green – and that’s not good. Stay away from drinking vinegar in unlined copper.
  2. Any high pH liquid will discolor the copper (this can sometimes be reversed if you clean the cup right away, or use ketchup on it often).
  3. Don’t cook in it
  4. If you plan to use copper cups for anything all the time, consider getting stainless or aluminum cups that have copper color spray painted or very finely plated on the outside (which is usually what you find in bars because these are not actually real copper at all!)
  5. It’ll scratch easy, so keep metal bar tools to a minimum
  6. Hand wash it – it will pit with the abrasive dish soaps out there

Now, go pick a drink from David Lebovitz’s DRINKING FRENCH, make it, and sip in style!

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