An Open Letter to Savannah Guthrie – try a Moscow Mule in Tucson

Subject: An Open Letter to Savannah Guthrie – try a Moscow Mule in Tucson
From: Matt Russell
Date: 13 May 2015

Dear Savannah:
I just couldn’t believe my ears.
During a recent “Today” segment, which featured fancy kitchen and bar gadgets, you shared personal testimony that you have never tasted a Moscow Mule.
What followed was a shock wave that made its way from NBC’s Studio 1A in Rockefeller Plaza throughout the global cocktail community.
I’d rather light a candle than curse your darkness, as the Chinese proverb says, so here’s my formal offer to take you on a personal tour of some of our community’s best Moscow Mules when you’re back home in Tucson.
In the meantime, here’s a tease to get you started.
With two Tucson locations, Sir Veza’s Taco Garage offers a regional twist on the Moscow Mule, which traditionally integrates vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Sir Veza’s replaces the vodka with Patron Tequila, and uses an Australian ginger beer to give their Mexican Mule a unique kick.
“The tequila takes the Mule to a whole new level,” said Shawn Levine, Sir Veza’s beverage director. “The agave brings about a balance that produces a clean and smooth finish, and the Australian ginger beer that we use has an amazing and refreshing fizz.”
Why include Sir Veza’s on your Mule Tour?
“You’re experiencing Moscow Mules in Tucson, right? So why not enjoy the one that’s made in the Sonoran style? When that tequila touches the walls of the cup and starts to oxidize, it boosts the aroma and releases a Southern Arizona attitude that reminds you that you’re back home,” said Levine.
At Union Public House, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. the Moscow Mule is by far its top-selling cocktail. But Union’s innovation is really manifest in its growing menu of Mules, which features seven distinct variations, from a Kentucky Mule with Four Roses Bourbon to a London Mule with Bombay Gin.
“Our real advantage in the portfolio of Mules is our ginger beer,” said Union co-owner Steve Stratigouleas, who spent six months in search of the perfect blend before he hit the jackpot. He also claims that serving the Mules in Union’s iconic copper cup is a must for keeping them “ridiculously cold.”
Why should you visit Union as part of your tour, Savannah?
“We’ve sold over 105,000 of these in three years; it really has become our drink. And since you’re just now starting to discover it yourself, come to the place where we discovered it ourselves on the first day we opened,” said Stratigouleas.
With a decidedly European flair, the Milano Mule is a nod to the flavors and traditions of Italy at North Italia, 2955 E. Skyline Drive. While the cocktail’s classic ingredients form its foundation, the Italian aperitif Aperol is brought in as a balancer.
“Aperol’s bright orange notes work so very well with the lime juice, and the orange-lime relationship has existed happily since the 1500’s,” said Mat Snapp, beverage director at Fox Restaurant Concepts. “Aperol has a sultry way of sneaking in to this classic cocktail by accentuating both the lime and the ginger.”
Why should North Italia be a mandatory stop on your Mule Tour?
“Just imagine yourself as the lady on the patio, with a Milano Mule in your right hand and that Tucson sun setting behind you. At that very time, there’s just no better place to be in the world, Savannah.”
The Tucson Moscow Mule landscape is quite wide, and there are several more selections beyond the three that I have shared here. Our hope is that we can send you back to Rockefeller Plaza with the satisfaction that you have experienced the Moscow Mule, in all of its majesty, the way we like them out here in the Old Pueblo.
Get ready for #Mules4Savannah and the #TucsonMuleTour!

Sincerely, from your humble tour guide,

Matt Russell