How do a little vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer sound right about now? Mix those three ingredients together and you have a Moscow Mule, a popular adult libation. Bar owners and other businesses are changing up the names of some products, as well as some business names, in order to shun Putin and show support for Ukrainians. The idea is to not use toxic cancel culture that ends up hurting innocent Russian people in general but to take aim at Putin specifically with the name changes.
It’s happening across the country in the hospitality and food and drink sector. The name of the Russian capital is being removed and replaced with Ukrainian cities and patriotic terms on menu items and on product lines.
Andrea Minoo, the owner and operator of the Bond Bar and Lounge in San Francisco, told FOX Business her establishment renamed their Moscow Mule offering to Kyiv Mule following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We started the name change to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis happening right now in Ukraine,” Minoo wrote in an email. “To bring attention to the tenacity of the Ukrainian people. And that we stand with the free world in their defense. We hope that cooler heads will prevail and this will come to an end as soon as possible.”
The Ukrainian capital – Kyiv – has become a top choice among businesses that are renaming the Moscow Mule.
Kyiv Mule was selected as a drink name at Baker Street Burgers in Rockford, Illinois, according to a Facebook post the restaurant shared on Wednesday, March 2.
“We have dropped the Moscow Mule from our menu and added this,” the restaurant captioned its post. “Just like the Moscow Mule, but it is made with @khor_usa, a Ukrainian vodka and we are donating a dollar from every one sold to @unicef_ukraine for their efforts in helping the innocent children of Ukraine.”
Clever. Making donations with drink profits is a nice touch, too. The Madrone Art Bar in San Francisco originally renamed their drink as a Ukrainian Mule three days before Putin invaded Ukraine. Michael Krouse, the owner of the bar said the name was updated and two dollars from each Kyiv Mule will be donated to the Cares Ukraine Crises Fund.
“We settled on the Kyiv Mule, and are using Prime Vodka produced in Ukraine,” Krouse wrote, in an email. “As for why: We want to show support for the people of Ukraine, and let them know we value their lives.”
He continued, “We hope that by removing a top-selling Russian vodka and replacing it with a Ukrainian vodka and renaming it the Kyiv Mule, we are showing solidarity with the innocent people of Ukraine. Is it possible even on small scale to influence behavior and awareness in how a person spends their [money]? I don’t know, but we are making that effort.”
People are making small gestures everywhere. If nothing else, it makes them feel connected and supportive of Ukrainians as we watch the horrendous events of war each day on television. The makers of Stoli vodka is changing its name. A restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina, Avenue M, changed the name of its drink to the Peace Mule.
“We own a restaurant in a small mountain town very far removed from the war zone,” Lonow wrote in an email. “In some small way by changing the name it helps us stand with the people of Ukraine. Our hearts go out to all that have been affected. We are praying for peace.”
The Russian House of Austin opened ten years ago. Owner Varda Monamour said it shares Russian culture with visitors. It has officially changed its name to just The House.
“To me, the name doesn’t reflect what we really are,” she said. “And if it saddens or brings pain to others, we just feel it needs to be ‘The House’ — the house for everyone. The house where people can come in and enjoy a good meal and concentrate on good things and something that brings us together, not puts us apart.”
In Israel, the Putin Pub changed its name to Zelensky Pub. Israeli diplomat Michael Brodsky posted a picture of the name sign on his Twitter account. The diplomat relocated to Poland after the invasion. The pub is in Jerusalem.
These are small gestures but they bring people together. That’s not a bad thing these days. Shun Putin, connect with Russian people who are not responsible for the actions of their maniacal leader, and support the Ukrainians.