At UrbanBar, we love a bit of jargon-busting, especially when it comes to cocktail-making! There are tons of terms involved in mixology that, without a bit of prior knowledge, might make the whole thing pretty confusing. One such term is muddling, a frequently used word that you need to know. Without further ado, let’s crack this case wide open.
If you’ve ever paid attention to your bartender making a Mojito or crafting a Caipirinha, you might have seen them crushing ingredients in the glass. This ladies and gents, is muddling. The bartender is breaking down and mashing up the ingredients before adding any liquids, and it’s a common technique used in making fruity, fresh cocktails.
Muddling is a great way to release the flavours of your ingredients. Limes, lemons, mint, and berries can all benefit from muddling, letting their aromas shine and ensuring they properly infuse the spirits and mixers you’ll be adding later. All of the flavourful, fresh juices are released, making for far tastier cocktails!
Often, muddling ingredients can become an alternative to adding syrups and bitters or using infused spirits. Why use artificially flavoured lime vodka when you could sip on the fresh, zesty taste of the real thing? It makes for a lighter, higher quality drink.
The first step to muddling is to invest in a proper muddler. We love the 360 Muddler with teeth which allows for the most efficient muddling, making use of all sides of the rubber-topped end for great grinding of your ingredients. This particular style also has an ergonomic handle, making it more comfortable to muddle.
Use the freshest, ripest ingredients in your cocktails for the fullest flavours. Wash and cut your fruits and herbs into fairly small sections, before adding them to the base of your mixing glass or container. Press down on your ingredients lightly and gently in repeated motions, releasing their juices and aromas without bruising them. Three to five twists without too much force should be enough.
Herbs need to be treated even gentler. We recommend adding a small amount of the liquid you’ll be using, like sugar syrup, to the glass as you muddle. Be very careful not to overdo it here, or your fresh, fragrant herbs will turn bitter and limp.
If you’re looking to become a cocktail pro, our experts at UrbanBar can help! We’ve put together a variety of online Educational Spirit Courses, designed to make learning the art of mixology a breeze. Check them out and try fixing your favourite cocktails.