The Meagher Bar Mules 

What it is: I thought I'd start the column off with the origin story of the beloved Moscow mule, but the story isn't all that interesting, really. In 1941, a ginger beer maker, a vodka distillery owner and a Russian immigrant carrying three copper mugs walked into a Manhattan pub and... you can guess the rest. Or just make it up while you explore the Meagher Bar's "Mule Madness" menu.

What's on the menu: Nine strong, sugary or strong-and-sugary cocktails that make use of muddled lime and ginger beer. That's what makes it a "mule," after all. The "Classic" is a Moscow mule made with Tito's vodka. The other eight cocktails are each made with different liquors and/or brands.

So what are they? Well, the "Dragon's Breath" uses Bacardi Dragon Berry rum, while the "Classy Laydie" uses Whyte Laydie gin. Jim Beam Apple, Kraken Black spiced rum, and ABSOLUT mandarin vodka all make appearances on the menu.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DEREK BROUWER
  • photo by Derek Brouwer

What they're served in: No copper mugs here. These exotic mules are served in Jameson-branded Mason jars with thick straws. It's a letdown at first, but the presentation works. Mules are great summer drinks, and few things say summer better than sipping from a jar with a straw.

How they taste: The Irish Buck, made with Jameson, is definitely on the stronger side. The berry rum-infused Dragon's Breath falls into the category of mixed drinks that are so sweet they're chuggable. Pace yourself.

The details: Find them at Meagher Bar, 130 W. Pine St. Each mule costs $7.25. On Wednesdays they're $5.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

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