Drinking out of copper mugs have always been a long-discussed debate. There are indeed differences between lined and unlined mugs regarding the potential copper exposure, actual copper toxicity is highly unlikely no matter the cup.

Are copper mugs safe to drink out of?

Hand Crafted Copper Hammered Mug

Copper mugs are fairly safe to drink from and a majority of Moscow mule mugs come lined with stainless steel or tin which completely eliminates the chances of copper toxicity. But even with unlined mugs, copper toxicity is only possible if you are exposed to copper for a very long time. It is unlikely to get such a huge amount of copper just by drinking from a copper mug.

Unlined copper mug safety

The FDA has confirmed that copper may leach from an unlined copper mug into food or drinks with a pH level lower than 6.  Therefore it is suggested that establishments such as bars and restaurants do not allow direct contact of such food items with copper vessels. A Moscow Mule, which is obviously served in a copper mug, falls under this category.

Are Moscow mule mugs safe?

Generally, Moscow mule mugs are generally safe, as copper toxicity symptoms occur only once you have ingested 30 milligrams or more of copper per liter, which has been sitting in an unlined copper vessel for hours.

So, in order to get intoxicated with a Moscow mule, you need to drink at least a liter’s worth of the one sitting for hours in a copper mug.

Lined vs. unlined copper mugs

Copper toxicity is unlikely to occur if you are a Moscow mule lover and love to drink out of a pure, unlined copper mug. But even then, it is impossible to rule out the possibility completely. As a result of this, some establishment owners prefer using lined copper mugs since they are easier to maintain and eradicate any health concerns completely. a lot of copper mugs which you may find are often copper-plated over stainless-steel, nickel or tin, or are lined with those materials.