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Toronto restaurants to stop serving Moscow mules

A chain of restaurants in Toronto has decided to stop serving Moscow mules and stop ordering Russian products.

Gabby's is a chain of pubs with 12 locations that's known more for wings and pitchers of beer than cocktails, but now on all their menus where a Moscow mule would normally be you'll now see a Kyiv mule.

A Moscow mule is typically made up of vodka, ginger beer and lime, and the actual components of the drink aren't changing, but the Kyiv mule is now made with Absolut vodka plus ginger beer and lime. Absolut is a Swedish vodka, as opposed to a Russian vodka.

"I think it's amazing that our franchisees were eager to support this," Jesse (who preferred not to give a last name) of Gabby's tells blogTO. "We have stopped ordering all Russian vodkas."

They're actually hoping to switch over to a Ukrainian vodka, but while getting rid of the Russian vodka quickly was easy, getting the Ukrainian vodka in will take more time.

Jesse, his brother and his father have all made personal donations to the Red Cross to help in Ukraine, and Gabby's has shared a link in their Instagram bio so others can do so as well.

They started the changeover on the menu on Mar. 1 and it's now been implemented at all locations. Approximately 1,000 stickers were used to update the cocktail on all Gabby's menus.

Their sibling restaurant District Eatery's menu has actually also been updated with the same change.

"There was a little bit of pushback, and I was surprised. It only takes one offended person to cause a big problem, and we have a lot of customers come in," says Jesse.

"We are just early on this idea though, I think first movers can receive pushback, my hope is that every restaurants takes this on. We have the utmost respect for the large Russian-Canadian population and the Russian people. This is not an attempt to erase the Russian history."

Gabby's has no plans to change the name of the cocktail back to a Moscow mule.

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