Bar owners replace Moscow mules with kyiv mules

Small American businesses, such as independent bar or restaurant owners, may have no direct business ties to Russia, but many are deeply concerned about the violent attack on Ukrainian cities and citizens. Replacing “Moscow” with “kyiv” in their vodka-ginger-lime cocktails is a way to show support for Ukraine.

Bond Bar in San Francisco has renamed his Moscow mule the kyiv mule. “It’s just a small token of appreciation to the Ukrainian people,” said owner Andrea Minoo. “We’re just trying to raise awareness and let people know that we support [of Ukraine].” She wants Ukrainians to know that “we see what is happening, we wish we could do more.”

Bond Bar doesn’t serve Russian vodka, Minoo noted, so it doesn’t substitute any ingredients in its Kyiv Mule.

Madrone Art Bar, also in San Francisco served Russian vodka until last weekend when owner Michael Krouse decided to drop it from the menu.

First, he had to figure out which of the roughly 10 vodkas he was carrying was actually Russian. Many top-selling vodka brands whose origins can be traced back to Russia are now distilled in several countries, including the United States. Stoli Vodka, for example, is actually made in Latvia and the company’s head office is in Luxembourg.

After some research, Krouse removed Russian Standard, one of the few brands of vodka made in Russia, from his bar. Then he decided to rename Madrone’s Moscow Mule the Kyiv Mule and looked for a Ukrainian vodka to make it with. The bar unveiled the reconstructed cocktail on Instagram this week.

“We present to you the ‘Kyiv Mule’ made with Prime Ukrainian vodka!,'” a wednesday article reads, adding that “$2 from every sale of Kyiv Mule will be donated to the Ukrainian Crisis Fund”. The kyiv Mule costs $12.

Krouse said he felt sad and helpless about the situation in Ukraine when he decided to take these steps. These changes were “at least something we could do,” he said.

Make a gesture

Em Chamas Brazilian Grill in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a Facebook post last week that his Moscow Mule will be replaced by a “Snake Island Mule”, in “support of the Ukrainian resistance and in honor of the brave soldiers of Snake Island”.
Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, lies about 30 miles off the southern tip of the Ukrainian mainland in the northwest Black Sea. Last week, a handful of Ukrainian fighters on the island resisted Russian warships. They were feared dead, but the Ukrainian navy on Monday issued a statement saying the troops were “alive and in good health” after being forced to surrender “due to lack of ammunition”.

Back in Kansas City, Em Chamas’ post also urged customers not to “direct animosity toward Russian-themed and/or Russian-owned/operated local restaurants or businesses.” [descent]. The restaurant, which charges around $11 for cocktails, plans to donate proceeds from the Snake Island Mule to a Ukrainian charity, according to the Facebook post.

Ronnie Heckman, owner of Caddies on Cordell, a bar and grill in Bethesda, Maryland, didn’t just replace Moscow Mules with kyiv Mules, he went so far to replace Black Russians and White Russians. by black Ukrainians. (vodka and Kahlua on the rocks) and white Ukrainians (based on vodka, Kahlua and cream).

“It’s a gesture,” he said. Caddies also donates a portion of the revenue from these drinks to Ukrainian aid, he said.

Heckman hopes that if enough restaurant and bar owners remove references to Russia from their menus, they can send a message to Russian leaders. The attack on Ukraine “makes no sense”, he said. “It’s wrong.”

– CNN’s Jordan Valinsky, Brad Lendon, Tim Lister and Josh Pennington contributed to this report.

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