Editor’s note: Laura took some beautiful photos while at Knock, and couldn’t resist snapping a shot of the gorgeous copper ceiling, saying, “Because after two Moscow Mules, you notice it for some reason.”
I’m a big proponent of the health benefits of ginger and citrus. So, what could be better for healthy imbibing than a Moscow Mule at Knock speakeasy in Harrisburg?
It’s got ginger, as in ginger beer. It’s got citrus, as in fresh squeezed lime. And, the Russians swear by the health benefits of vodka, which is the other ingredient in this ‘40s-era cocktail.
My favorite part of the whole Moscow Mule experience is the copper mug. It has to be a real copper mug, maybe with a stainless steel lining. We all know copper is supposed to be good for you, and it’s lucky too, as in a copper penny.
The copper mugs at Knock come from Smirnoff Vodka, with a Smirnoff engraving on the side. It’s kind of a tribute to Smirnoff, which sounds like it’s Russian, but it’s really from Connecticut. In fact, during the 1960s Cold War, nobody wanted anything Russian, or from Moscow. The Moscow Mule had to lay low for a few decades, until it was time to make a comeback.
As Knock bartender Chris points out, making a Moscow Mule is way easier than settling foreign relations. You only need four ingredients, and that all-important copper mug. The recipe goes like this: 4 oz. ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz Smirnoff Vodka, 1/6 oz lime juice from fresh lime (use the lime slices for garnish), lots of ice. Fill the chilled copper mug with ice, then add the vodka and ginger beer. (Fentiman’s is a good choice. You want a spicy ginger beer. Not wimpy ginger ale.) Add lime juice and stir. Garnish with fresh lime wedges. Sometimes a sprig of fresh mint can be added. But that’s not a must, especially in the middle of winter.
To get full use of their copper mugs, Knock also serves a Dark and Stormy Mule, which has Myer’s dark rum, ginger beer and fresh squeezed lime juice. It’s the kind of drink that Hemingway might drink on a stormy night in the Keys. The recipe is pretty much a duplicate of the Moscow Mule, except you switch out the vodka for dark rum.
Other classic offerings include the Dirty Bleu Martini with Belvedere vodka, olive juice and a blue cheese stuffed olive garnish, or the classic Old Fashioned with Bulleit bourbon, sugar cubes, bitters, lemon, orange and a cherry, or the famous Manhattan, with Crown Royal, sweet vermouth, bitter and a cherry on top. They are very chic, of course, served up in old fashioned glasses and martini glasses.
Somehow, the very cool copper mug just seemed, well, very cool. Sure, the fruity Blood Orange Mojito, Pomegranate Cosmo and Forbidden Fruit looked delicious, but what would Bogey do, trapped with gangsters in a hurricane on Key Largo? He’d order a mule, of course.
A tip before you head over to Madam Knock’s Pine Street Beauty Parlor, the secret location for Knock: make sure you know the password. It’s usually something hair salon-related, like “braid” or “blonde.” You can get the scoop from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Knock – A speakeasy
129 Pine Street, Harrisburg
Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.