Lesson 06 – Difficulty: Easy
If you find a mojito pleasing or a julep exciting, using a muddler is going to become party of your routine. Using a muddler isn’t a big challenge, but there are some simple do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. First of all, herbs are delicate beasts, you want to press the herbs not destroy them! Let’s talk about the steps you need to take when using a muddler. And, if you’ve recently picked up our Home Bartender Starter Kit, you’ll be prepared with a simple muddler to work cocktails.
Using a Muddler Step-by-StepStep 1 Place herbs in your mixing glass in addition to any other ingredients your recipe instructions suggest. Step 2 Using a muddler, gently press down on the herbs at the bottom of the mixing glass while maintaining a firm grasp of the muddler. Step 3 Continue to press down and gently twist without tearing the mint. You want to press the mint to open the vein of the herb and allow the oils to express into the glass. Ripping only leaves floating mint particles that are usually distracting and get stuck on the teeth.
The Muddling Technique – Chlorophyll is Bitter
Tearing the mint leaves will often create a bitter flavor profile in your drink because chlorophyll is bitter. Most of all, you want to press out the essential oils and keep the chlorophyll out of your drink. You know you’ve gone too far in your muddling effort if your drink tastes like grass. If your cocktail calls for a simple syrup or raw sugar, you’ll find it makes muddling better. Using a muddler with those syrups or grains of sugar will help to extract the oil from the herbs. Watch any professional bartender as they muddle your drink. You’ll see bartenders often add the sugar with the herbs/fruits such as a caipirinha with limes or mojito with mint.