OMAHA (KPTM)- Moscow Mules are making national headlines—not because the retro drink is back in style, but because the copper cup is a hot ticket item to steal. The Wall Street Journal states restaurants and bars across the country can't keep the cups on the shelves because people are walking off with them. One local bar has seen this problem as well, but set a policy in place to prevent theft.
The Moscow Mule is a simple drink—just a little vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, all served in a copper mug. The old fashioned drink is making a comeback in big strides.
"Part of its popularity is somebody sees a copper mug in somebody's hand and it just makes them want it. Makes people say, 'what is that'?" said Boz Hicks, manager at Jake's Cigars and Spirits in Benson.
It's not the alcohol that's gaining popularity. It's the cup and it's turning customers into thieves.
"As the drink got more and more popular our copper mugs were walking off," said Hicks.
So Jake's set a policy to stop the sticky fingers: If you order a Moscow Mule, you'll have to have you're ID ready as collateral. That's the only way the bartender will hand over the mug.
"Hold something of theirs for something of ours. Be it their id, which most people will come back for," said Hicks.
The metro area has seen a spike in copper thefts this year.
"Some of these people will work harder at thievery rather than hold down a job," said Harold Edelman of Ganeeden Metals in Council Bluffs, IA.
Ganeeden Metals hasn't seen any mugs come through its doors. But if it did, it would require a security check just like every other metal drop off.
"We assume that it's legit if the person selling it will provide a identification," said Edelman.
Holding ID's is what helped prevent thefts at Jake's.
"Kept our recent 20 mugs for a good solid month now and that's impressive," said Hicks. Now he hopes no more mug swiping will bring the bar another impressive month.
Copper mugs can run between $20 to $30 each. The Wall Street Journal states the cups are backordered at some stores around the country because there is such a high demand to replace the copper cups that were stolen.
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