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Cook the Book: Moscow Mule

[Flickr: svanes]

After a beautifully written introduction by Ruth Reichl, Gourmet Today starts out, as most good things do, with cocktails. Cocktails are a great way to start a meal and as it turns out, to start a book too. The drinks section of Gourmet Today includes recipes for about 50 boozy libations and a dozen or so for the teetotalers out there. All of your mixology questions are answered and there's even a helpful guide to properly appointing your home bar.

With such an emphasis on cocktail culture in recent years, it seems only natural that a good home cook should be able to mix up a decent cocktail as well. I've decided to start out this week of recipes with a foolproof recipe for a crowd-pleasing cocktail, the Moscow Mule.

Vodka just might be the most commonly consumed spirit on the market today but there was a time when the Russian import wasn't so popular. Most great cocktails come with a great backstory and the Moscow Mule is no exception. Back in the 1940s, importer Jon Martin was trying to unload his stock of Smirnoff vodka. He joined forces with Jack Morgan, owner of the celebrity haunt the Cock N Bull Tavern in Los Angeles, and the Moscow Mule was born, thus kicking off the vodka craze in America.

This cocktail couldn't be easier to prepare or easier to drink for that matter. The spicy combination of ginger beer, lime juice, and vodka is refreshing in the heat and warming in the winter months. The Moscow Mule is a prefect match for any assortment of happy hour salty snacks--from the simplest bowl of mixed nuts or olives to a more elegant Smoked Trout Spread, but more on that tomorrow.

Win 'Gourmet Today'

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Gourmet Today to give away this week.

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