Tips & Techniques
Extract Flavor Like a Pro
Muddling is used to extract liquids or oils from solids so their flavor enhances the drink more completely. Examples include Mojitos, Mint Juleps or an old-fashioned. Muddling can also be used to blend and crush solids and liquids together. Start by adding the ingredients you plan to muddle to an empty mixing glass. Ingredients that require the muddling technique are typically herbs, chunks of fresh fruit or citrus wedges. If the recipe calls for simple or flavored syrups, add to the glass with herbs/fruit before muddling. Use the flat end of the muddler to press on ingredients to lightly mash, not pulverize, the ingredients. Avoid over-muddling for best results, especially with delicate herbs such as mint. Lightly pressing on the mint with the muddler will release the desired oils, while crushing or tearing the leaves may release bitter characteristics found in the stems that you do not want in your finished drink. Once you've muddled your ingredients perfectly, finish preparing the drink and enjoy.
If you don’t happen to have muddler on hand, the handle of a wooden spoon, rolling pin or pestle will do the trick.