A disturbing trend is sweeping across America: The Wall Street Journal reports that due to the newfound popularity of the Moscow Mule, bars from Seattle to Knoxville are experiencing the widespread theft of the cocktail's signature vessel, the copper mug. To curb theft, the WSJ reveals some bars' tactics for keeping an eye on their cups: Seattle's Rob Roy only uses the traditional glassware at the bar, while Knoxville's Drink only serves the cocktail on slow nights.
Copper mug thefts aren't exactly new, but bars report that the drinkware's newfound popularity has made it more expensive to replace: Per the WSJ, mugs are currently selling for $15-$20 apiece at stores like Crate and Barrel and Sur La Table. Meaty chain LongHorn Steakhouse — which sells a "Montana Mule" in a stainless steel cup — sells souvenir versions of the mug for $10. Then there's always the free route. The Journal finds one admitted mug thief, who reports feeling "bad" about stealing a mug from Santa Monica's Hotel Casa del Mar, but not "bad" enough to actually return it: She now uses the copper mug to drink flax milk at home.