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Moscow Mule mug a hot commodity, constantly stolen from bars

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PHOENIX -

If you've ever had a "Moscow Mule" you know it has to be served in a copper mug or it's just not the same. But patrons have decided they want to take them home -- and local bars are losing money.

Ice, vodka, ginger beer, lime, and shake! That's what goes into making a Moscow Mule. It's served in a frosty, cold mug -- a mug that has become a hot commodity.

"Its 100 percent copper, it's the real deal, I mean if you're going to look inside the mug, it's copper inside and out," says Kirk Hopkins, general manager of Casa on Mill Ave.

"I'd order a case of 24, wouldn't even last me a month."

Staff has even caught patrons in the act.

"I've had a server, actually had a server get one from a customer that left the premise with one and gave it back."

Here at Casa they were losing so many mugs they took a new security measure. Now you hand over your ID and you can get your hands on the mug.

"I have yet to lose a cup. People value their IDs so as soon as they give the cup back I give their ID back."

It's not the value of the copper they're after -- it's just the simple fact that people think these mugs are cool to have at home.

In Scottsdale, the praying monk will soon implement the same rule after 7 mugs were stolen just last weekend. General manager David M. Johnson says they cost $30 each -- 8 times the price of glassware.

"They don't feel entitled to take plates or silverware home but for some reason these copper mug glasses that are in top mixology and craft cocktail bars are disappearing at a rapid rate and we want 'em to be here for when people come in here," says Johnson.

Over in the Biltmore area at the Merc Bar, thousands of dollars have been lost in the past couple of years due to mug thefts.

"We have probably had, since the beginning of this year, 60 to 70 mugs stolen," says Adam Hargett, GM of Merc Bar.

Merc Bar management also plans to start asking for credit cards or IDs when a guest asks for a Moscow Mule.

I did some research online -- you can get the mugs yourself for $20 to $40 each.

This problem is widespread because even when managers call to place orders for new mugs, the distributors are continuously out of them.

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