As you look at the calendar today, you may find yourself shocked by just how fast this summer’s blown by. Somehow we’re already in the middle of July with just a little over a month left of those warm, hazy nights. While it’s slightly depressing, we’re encouraging you to make the most out of what’s left of summer.
We’ve always been glass half-full kind of people – well full of a cocktail that is. So before you start to panic, calm down and enjoy the rest of your summer with a rejuvenating, fruit-infused cocktail. Whether you’re sipping a refreshing Mojito by the pool or concocting a Brazilian Caipirinha, muddling is a crucial step for making delicious drinks like these.
Simply put, muddling is the process of crushing fresh fruits and herbs to release their flavors and aromas into the cocktail. Using a muddler, a long bar tool usually made of wood or steel, the flat bottom or teeth of the device is used to carefully mash down the selected ingredients. With each turn of the muddler, the juices, oils, and even the flesh of the fruit are released into the bottom of the glass for maximum flavor.
The act of muddling is fairly straight-forward, but it’s easy do it wrong. If you exert too much force on the ingredients, the fruit will become pulverized and can release unwanted, bitter oils that contaminate your drink.
Here at Behind the Bar, we’re strong advocates of producing quality cocktails. That’s why we’ve created a list of do’s and don’ts for using a muddler. Better bartending practices create better drinks that’ll make you, your friends, and your customers happier in return.
- Muddle ingredients in the bottom of your glass before adding ice.
- To prevent broken drinkware, use a sturdy drinking glass, or a even better, use a mixing glass to muddle. If you do chose a thinner glass, proceed with extra caution.
- Hold the glass with your non-dominant hand while your dominant hand cups the top of the muddler in your palm, and then ground the muddler down with gentle, yet firm revolving movements.
- Avoid resting your palm on the side of the glass.
- Don’t slam your muddler into the glass. This can bruise and damage the ingredients or even break the glass, which is a mess no one wants.
- Don’t use overly large chunks of fruit. Wedge-sized pieces are the way to go.
For those of you who are more visual learners, check out this muddling video by Imbibe Magazine:
Now that you know some basic tips and tricks for muddling correctly, it’s time to explore some different types of muddlers. We sell wooden, heavy plastic, and steel muddlers that have flat and ridged heads at the bottom for crushing the fruit and herbs. Many bartenders prefer a sturdy wooden or steel one over plastic, but this choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences.
Made from sleek and shiny stainless steel, this muddler is the perfect addition to your collection of bar tools. Whether you’re preparing an Old Fashioned or a Mint Julep, the rubber nubs of this tool will help you easily mix and mash your fruits and herbs.
Complete with a triangular head design, this heavy plastic muddler is great for consistent mashing in your glass.
Whichever muddler you choose, it’s crucial to remember the tips we mentioned here. Learn to muddle better today to craft flawless citrus drinks like a pro. Be sure to check out all of the other muddlers & citrus juicers we offer, and if you have any additional questions on proper muddling, feel free to comment below!