Many cocktails have “muddled” ingredients, so recipes tell you to grab your muddler and muddle away. But what does that even mean?
A muddler is a wooden pestle that looks like a miniature baseball bat. The flat end is used to smash ingredients, such as the lime and mint in a Mojito. We recommend wood because it won’t damage your glasses. Some muddlers have teeth on the end, which is great for fruits but too hardcore for herbs. You can also make your own muddler; it’s basically a wooden dowel.
Muddling releases the oils from herbs and the juice from fruits and vegetables. If you’re muddling herbs–say you’re making a Mint Julep–put the herbs at the bottom of a glass and press down gently with your muddler and twist rather than pound.
Over-muddling herbs releases the bitterness from the stems, and you want the flavored oil from the leaves. However, if you’re muddling fruit or a sugar cube, go to town on that bad boy and smash away.
So whip out that muddler and try one of these cocktails:
To learn more cocktail techniques, recipes and secrets, check out our book: DIY Cocktails.
Photo by Jackson Stakeman