Are Copper Mugs Safe To Drink From?

Last modified on July 31st, 2020 at 11:50 pm

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The Moscow Mule cocktail is a very popular alcoholic drink that has been seeing a resurgence in popularity ever since it’s a peak in the 50s. The drink itself is extremely easy to make which may be a reason for it becoming popular in the home bar. You needn’t have any more ingredients than a bit of vodka, some ginger ale, and lime juice.

Because the drink is becoming popular again the copper mug is also becoming a hot commodity too. Moscow Mules are typically served in a large solid copper drinking glass because they can and will keep the drink colder longer. With a good serving of lime juice in the drink, the metallic mug also seems to enhance the crispness of the drink pairing freshness with the acidity.

You may be concerned though about the safety of drinking out of copper cups as copper is a heavy metal and can be toxic in high amounts – and that is the main purpose of this article, discussing the safety of using copper for your drinks.TLDR – Article Summary Copper mugs are quite safe to drink out of especially when you avoid hot beverages. The safest mugs have a lining on the inside which prevents copper from getting into your drink. Here are some of the safest copper mugs. They have stainless steel interior lining. For cold drinks however, they won’t feel as crisp and cold as a copper cup all around.

Copper Is A Heavy Metal

These days we tend to scrutinize what we put into our bodies more so than ever before and with copper mugs it would be foolish to not scrutinize the safety of the mugs themselves.

First of all copper is a heavy metal and it can and will leech these metals into fluids that are contained in them. When we drink from copper vessels we are taking in additional copper into our system which can get too high.

Is It Dangerous To Drink From Copper Cups?

Drinking from a copper mug lined with nickel, food-safe lacquer, or stainless steel is extremely safe. These materials plate the copper mug blocking any unwanted copper deposits from leeching out of the copper mug into your drink.

In older plated mugs you should expect to see some scratches, wear, or slight imperfections in the plating that may develop over time, even still this should not be something worth your worry as this will not result in a large transfer of copper minerals into your drink and body. In short, imperfections in your mug’s plating should not be considered a threat so long as you do not see larger portions of the coating wearing off from the interior of your mugs.

It’s good however to keep in mind that copper is actually present in human body, just as it is also inside animals. This mineral is as well an important body component responsible for vital enzymes which cannot be synthesized at some point. It’s good to have… but only in smaller proportions.

If you are looking for safe copper mugs, check out this one, which is one of our favorite mugs.

More On Safety

Dependent on the following, you can easily tell whether or not your copper mug is safe to drink from:

  1. Copper Mug Lining Lining interior of mugs keep hold of mineral deposits at risk of leaking and mixing towards the content of the mug, which can be very dangerous when taken in by humans at a higher level. Stainless steel, nickel or tin lining also avoids chemical reaction involving copper and some ingredients of the drink from happening, which might be unhealthy just the same or unsafe when taken in.
  2. Hot or Cold Drink For copper mugs without lining, there is a greater chance of increased copper leakage brought about by some chemical reaction upon pouring of the drink inside it. This is when a hot or acidic content is placed with the pure copper mugs. This is the same reason why either you drink a hot drink on a ceramic mug, an acidic drink on a glass mug, and reserve your cold drink on your copper mug, for that extra cool finish of your beverage.

Looking at it, it appears very clear that drinking your beverage straight out of a copper mug without a nickel or stainless steel lining presents a health hazard. Copper mugs have been a tradition handed over by drinkers from one generation over another which only means it survived in around eight decades being a sleek, stunning and safe cocktail vessel to drink from. The bottom line is that you really get to enjoy the best of your drink when you have it served in beautifully carved copper mugs.

To answer the question whether copper mugs are actually safe to drink from, it would be “yes”. Over time, it has been proven that as long as the copper mug is lined or plated with tight or compounded patch such as nickel, or stainless steel, your health is perfectly at bay. Moreover, the fun and experience you get when you drink your cocktail or similar drinks off this lined copper mugs, you can get inside you that classic vintage sensation drinkers of the olden days have every time they end their errands for the day over mugs of beers and cocktails at taverns and bars.

If you were drinking from a copper cup that had no interior lining guarding against the transfer of heavy metals from the wall of the mug into the beverage inside it the use of such mug would be categorically unsafe. Although it’s possible that there are mugs that have been produced over the years that don’t have a protective barrier in place almost every mug (if not all of them) produced today use nickel plating on the inside of the cup to stop the heavy metal transfer from cup to fluid.

You can almost always be sure that drinking from a nickel lined copper mug is perfectly safe so long as the lining has not been compromised. Small scratches or imperfections may not pose much threat but if the plating has peeled off in large patches then it’s time to retire the mug as it is no longer safe to drink from.

In cookware pots and pans use copper bottoms for their thermal conductivity but you’ll never find actual cook surfaces made from pure copper. Your drinking cups should be no different.

I recommend seeing the following page on why copper mugs are lined with nickel for more information. I would also recommend you see the following article on cleaning your copper cups to learn how to best maintain the nickel liner and keep your body safe from unnecessary toxins.

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