At first, the attractive copper mugs were few and far between at bars or restaurants. But the enormous popularity of the Moscow Mule cocktail now means March 3 is National Moscow Mule Day (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?).
This vodka and ginger-beer drink is served in a copper mug for temperature’s sake—the mug keeps it very cold. And recent (July 2017) Alcoholic Beverages Division rules mean you will drink it from a copper mug lined with stainless steel, or another food-safe material, because true copper can start dissolving with acidic drinks.
The Hilton West Palm Beach is celebrating the Moscow Mule day with the WPB Mule ($14), a local take that mixes Indian River grapefruit-infused vodka, fresh lime juice and spicy ginger beer served on the rocks. Take one and sit in the beautiful Galley area at the Hilton, just renovated for décor and a revamped menu.
I recently tried the Smoked Old-Fashioned ($16) there, made with Russell’s Reserve bourbon, house bitters, orange bitters, Demerara sugar and smoked wood chips for the smoke, which put a delightful, calming smell and taste on this drink.
Pair that or the Mule with a new small plate on the menu, Arancini (risotto croquette, honey truffle goat cheese, $14) and you’ve got a mellow evening. Other plates to try: the Spanish octopus, wild mushroom pizza pie, the Tomahawk for two (bring your appetite), and then there’s the oven-baked cookie with homemade vanilla ice cream.
Sip and nibble: Ristorante Santucci’s innovative apps
At dinner before a show at the Kravis Center the other night, I tried the day’s appetizer special at Ristorante Santucci on Clematis Street. This continues to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Palm Beach County, and my dinner that night reinforced my belief.
But back to the appetizer (pictured): bay scallops sitting on polenta bites, surrounded by a limoncello sauce finished with fine herbs and fresh tomatoes. “It’s like eating candy,” said a friend, although he didn’t mean dessert. It was one of those dishes that could easily be an entrée. And, as usual, the beautiful plating was as appetizing as the dish itself. Ristorante Santucci, 610 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561/337-2532.
(WPB Mule pictured above. Photo courtesy Hilton West Palm Beach)
Lynn Kalber was raised in Boca Raton and has always worked in Palm Beach and Broward counties. She is a career journalist, with 26 years at The Palm Beach Post alone, where she wrote feature and food articles, edited the food section and wrote about wine as part of the Swirl Girls. She lives in West Palm Beach with her husband, writer and author Scott Eyman.