Nightlife review: Moscow Mules with a twist

By Ashley Strehle Hartman / World-Herald correspondent
Published in the Omaha World-Herald, October 5, 2017

CopperKettle.OWH

The Copper Kettle

Where: 1320 O St., Lincoln

Hours: Open 4 p.m. till at least 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, at least midnight Thursday and 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Info: 402-261-5860; www.copperkettlelincoln.com

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I love Moscow Mules, so it’s not surprising that I fell in love with the Copper Kettle.

The Lincoln establishment bills itself as Nebraska’s first Moscow Mule bar, and it offers more than two dozen varieties of Moscow Mules.

Moscow Mules traditionally have three ingredients: vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. The drink is typically garnished with lime and served in a copper mug.

At Copper Kettle, they get a bit more creative with their mules. They have the traditional option, as well as flavored varieties like blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and watermelon. But things get more interesting from there, as the Copper Kettle swaps out alcohol types and adds new flavors.

I tried the Caribbean Mule, which comes with New Amsterdam pineapple vodka, Malibu coconut rum, lime and pineapple juice for $8. It was one of the best drinks I’ve had in a long time. It had just the right amount of pineapple flavor to be refreshing and tropical, but not gimmicky. It was sweet, but not too sweet and the alcohol contents, though generously poured, were still subtle. It was so good.

I also tried the Cuban Mule, which doubles up on its rum with Don Q and Gosling’s Black. It also comes with Grand Marnier orange-flavored liqueur and bitters. Like the Caribbean option, the Cuban Mule, was $8 and it comes with a well-balanced mix of liquors.

Both the Caribbean and Cuban mules are served in copper mugs that are larger than those used at most area bars.

Other mule options include the Garden, which comes with vodka, lime and muddled fruit and cucumber; the Spicy, with Absolut Peppar vodka, Grand Marnier, muddled jalapeño and lime; and the Barista, with Patron XO Cafe coffee liqueur, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and whipped cream.

The mules range in price from $6 for the classic to $10 for the Long Island Mule which comes with vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec and lime. Most are $8.

In addition to its mules, the Copper Kettle has a beer menu with draft and bottled beers from local breweries like Zipline, Backswing and White Elm. It serves bottles and cans of the usual domestic and imports like Bud Light and Guinness. Most of these beers cost $5.

The Copper Kettle also has a rotating wine selection and a cocktail menu with six signature drinks ranging from Manhattans to autumn-inspired drinks like The Park in Fall cocktail that comes with White Lillet, Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemon juice, fresh thyme, bitters and ginger honey syrup. Cocktails are $8 or $9.

In general, the Copper Kettle is a bit pricier than many other bars in the neighborhood, but its atmosphere is also more upscale so the prices seem to fit. The Copper Kettle has high ceilings, minimalistic décor and homey nooks with comfy leather couches and chairs that make it great for small groups and good conversation.

Also, with its spot on O Street, the Copper Kettle is a convenient 15-minute walk from Memorial Stadium. So, keep it on mind on game days if you’re looking for something a bit different than the usual sports bar.

You just may fall in love with the Copper Kettle, too.