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What is a Muddler and How to Use a Cocktail Muddler

2022-09-06 08:37


What does a cocktail muddler do? How do you use a muddler for drinks? How do you muddle with a muddler? This short article will tell you!
 
What Is a Muddler?
A muddler is an essential bartending tool used to mash drink ingredients. When using a muddler, ingredients like fruits and herbs are crushed and added to drinks. Typically, ingredients are muddled to create alcoholic beverages, but some non-alcoholic drinks can benefit from muddling as well. Bartenders use muddlers to release the flavor and aroma of ingredients and help them bind to the alcohol.
 
Types of Muddlers
In general, you will find muddlers made out of three different materials: wood, plastic, and stainless steel.
 
Wood muddlers are the classic choice and most popular material. They come in two basic shapes: one looks like a miniature baseball bat with a flat bottom, and the other is straight, similar in design to a windchime.
 
Many modern muddlers are made out of plastic, stainless steel, or a combination of synthetic materials. The majority of these muddlers follow the bat design of the wood muddlers because the thinner, rounded end is easy to grasp. It is also common to find a muddler with teeth on the bottom, which will mash ingredients more efficiently and quickly extract juice from berries, citrus fruits, and other produce.
 
How to Muddle Cocktails?
Not every bartender grips a cocktail muddler exactly the same way. But generally, you want to grip it from the top, with your whole hand, with the end of the muddler against your palm.
 
This grip makes it easier to crush the leaves or berries evenly without tearing. So let’s look at making a Mojito, or actually the Nojito I made for a recent cocktail recipe post (the muddling part’s the same either way).
 
This type of cocktail is my least favorite to make because it’s just so easy to crush the leaves by accident. Especially if you’re not a bartender who makes a dozen of these a week. I put my mint leaves and lime juice in a little glass dish:
 
Next, you want to press the muddler gently against the leaves and twisted the head one way and then the other, 3-4 times. Then move on and muddle another section of the leaves.
 
With most herbs or berries, the smell of what you’re crushing will start to waft up to you. That helps you know how much flavor you’re releasing, so you can stop when it reaches the point you like. (There is such a thing as too much mint for most palates.)
 
If you find you’re not releasing much flavor, then try pressing down a little more firmly before you start to twist the muddler. Over time, you’ll find the right amount of pressure to apply.
 
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