Muddling fresh herbs and fruits is one of the best ways to get the full flavor potential out of fresh ingredients. The mojito has become one of the most popular and refreshing muddled drinks today, but many bartenders ruin this drink by over-muddling the mint. There are many other cocktails that can also benefit from using freshly muddled ingredients. We would like to aid bartenders all over the world by helping them become more creative with their mixology.
There are many ways to muddle, and many types of muddlers. Finding the right muddlers for what you want to accomplish is the key for turning okay drinks into amazing ones your guests will come back for again and again.
The Basics of Muddling
Treat your ingredients with respect!
Muddling cocktails may have started as a specialized process that only master mixologist in exclusive bars would use, but many modern cocktails require muddling. Follow these simple rules for perfect cocktails every time.
Always use fresh herbs, this will make a big difference in your cocktails.
Herb leaves have small veins which contain chlorophyll. If the leaves are shred or crushed, the chlorophyll gets released which adds a very bitter taste. (Similar to grass) This is why a flat headed muddler is preferred for herbs.
Muddlers with teeth on the end are much better for muddling fruits. The teeth tear through the rinds and flesh of fruits, releasing the oils and juices within. The serrated edges tend to cause herbs to shred which will release more chlorophyll into your cocktail.
Always use a cocktail shaker tin or sturdy mixing or pint glass that will not break. You don't want to risk chipping glass into a cocktail especially if you are using a Stainless Steel Muddler.
When muddling herbs press down lightly and just give a few twists.
A serrated head muddler can be used with fruits, and you should see the juice and oils release from the fruit as you press on them.
Adding simple syrup with the leaves while muddling is a great way to make sure the flavors will dissolve evenly throughout the drink.
Simple syrup is super easy to make. It is just equal parts sugar and water(example: 1cup sugar= 1 cup water). It can be combined using hot water and a bit of stirring. Or you can combine room temperature water and sugar in a jar with a lid and shake the heck out of it (will take about 4 good minutes of shaking). A rich simple syrup can also be made with a larger ratio of sugar to the amount of water used. In this case, less can be used per drink and it will last a bit longer in the fridge.
Which muddler is right for you?
Not everyone prefers the same kind of tool, so we carry many different varieties. Bar Supplies prides itself on having a big selection so you can find just the right muddler for you or your favorite bartender. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Classic blonde wood muddler.
This wood muddler is made of smooth unvarnished wood. It features teeth at one end that are great for muddling fruit. The handle side has a smooth round end that can also be used for muddling leaves.
Black Plastic Muddlers
Affordable and tough.
The plastic black muddler is a very affordable option that will last for years to come. It is available in 3 different head options: flat, grinder, and masher. The flat head is great for muddling leaves. The grinder and masher can easily extract juice and oils from fruits. If used lightly, the masher head can also be used for grinding herb leaves.
Stainless Steel Muddlers with Serrated End
Some prefer stainless steel.
Stainless Steel Muddlers are attractive and easy to use. They are sleek looking and feature serrated ends with grinder teeth. This muddler is available in a 7 inch size that is a bit wider or a 8.5 inch version that is skinner. Both also have a rounded grip side that can also be used to gently muddle leaves.
Wood Muddler with Grip Bands
Get a good grip on your muddler.
This a classic style blonde wood muddler. It features 3 textured bands that allow you to get extra grip on your muddler even if your hands are wet. Both sides have a flat head, so you will not have to worry about ripping or tearing your leaves when you use this muddler.
Unique and fun muddler!
These super durable muddlers are almost impossible to destroy! They are available in 5 fun colors to match your own personal style. This muddler features a tenderizer head that is ideal for extracting as much flavor and juice as possible. The acrylic muddler features a unique look with bubbles throughout the entire muddler.
Stainless Steel Muddlers with Plastic Head
Classy sleek muddler.
This muddler has the same sleek look as the regular stainless steel muddler but with a plastic head. This style head is ideal for muddling in glass. The plastic head is meant to keep the glass from being scratched or chipped. The stainless steel is super easy to clean. It is available in a regular or slim version and both sizes offer tenderizer or flat head options.
Delicious drink recipes that are flavorful and are cocktails that your customers will want to order over and over again.
- 2 oz White Rum
- 1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges
- 6/7 mint leaves
- 1 oz Simple syrup (or to taste)
- Club soda
In a tall glass, the BarConic® 15oz Liberty™ Tall Glass
works nicely, add lime, mint leaves, and simple syrup (or sugar). Muddle ingredients in a twisting motion with a flat or round headed muddler. Next fill the glass with ice to the rim, then add the rum. Give the ingredients a quick shake in a cocktail shaker tin, then top with club soda. Garnish with mint leaves or wedge of lime. This recipe can be easily turned into any flavored mojito with the simple addition of other fruits like strawberries, blueberries, mangos, or pineapples. Flavored vodka or rum also is a great substitution for white rum.
- 2 oz Cachaça, AKA Brazilian rum
- 2 lime wedges
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
The Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail and is made which a unique Brazilian Rum called Cachaça that has been fermented sugarcane juice.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle lime, lime juice, and sugar together. A muddler with serrated edges will work beautifully for a this type of muddling. Add the Cachaça and ice and give all the ingredients a good shake. Pour into a rocks glass like the 8 Ounce BarConic® Texan™ Rocks Glass
. Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.
Strawberry and Basil Lemonade
- 2 oz Strawberry Vodka
- 3 Strawberries
- 1 oz Strawberry Puree
- 5/6 basil leaves
In a tall glass, the BarConic® 15oz Mixing/Pub Glass
, add basil and strawberries and gently muddle using a twisting motion. Fill with ice to the top of the glass, then add the Strawberry Puree and Vodka. Top mixing glass with a 28 oz shaker tin and give it a good shake (about 10 seconds), then finish off with lemonade. A quick stir will complete this cocktail and a strawberry garnish will add a beautiful finishing touch.
- 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
- 1 slice of orange
- 2 maraschino cherries
- 1 oz of simple syrup (granulated sugar can also be used)
- 1 or 2 dashes of angostura bitters
- Splash of Water or Club Soda
In a old fashioned style or rocks glass, like the BarConic® Executive™ 6oz Rocks Glass
works great, add orange slice, 1 cherry, and a few ice cubes and muddle together in a twisting motion. Try to break up the rind of the orange in order to release the its aromatics and oils. Fill the glass with ice to the rim, and then add 1 to 2 dashes of bitters, the rye or bourbon, and simple syrup. (If using granulated sugar, muddle it along with the orange slice and cherry in the first step). Top with a splash of water or club soda and garnish with a cherry.