Could Your Favorite Trendy Cocktail Be More Of A Health Risk Than You Think?

Trends aren't known for their long shelf life. And sometimes, that's a good thing. Undersized and over-tightened corsets could deform a person's internal organs. At the same time, the belladonna plant was being used to dilate women's pupils in certain parts of Europe, even though it was known to be poisonous, according to MedlinePlus. And those aren't the only risky trends that have cropped up over the years, including those trendy drinks we love to order at happy hour.

While drinking cocktails can seem like an innocent activity with friends, some can pose a greater risk than others. Enter the Moscow Mule. If you've never had a Moscow Mule, you might want to pause before ordering one. The Spruce Eats says it was originally a World War II recipe that recently came back into fashion. It's a fairly simple cocktail made of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice served most often with a couple of lime wedges or a lime peel garnish. And traditionally, it is served in a copper mug. So what could be wrong with that?

The mug can leech copper into your drink

While the Moscow Mule is often served in a hip-looking copper mug, it may be problematic to your health. According to the 2022 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health, the acidic ingredients of the cocktail cause the copper lining of the mug to leech into the beverage, exceeding the safe levels of copper for drinking water, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Copper isn't talked about as much as lead, but it's a dangerous metal in its own right. The National Research Council Committee on Copper in Drinking Water states that copper exposure can lead to symptoms like acute gastrointestinal distress like vomiting.

However, it is possible to mitigate the risk if you don't want to pass the drink up. Ordering the drink in a glass rather than a copper mug may not look as cool, but it can help prevent copper contamination.