Drink Life Beverages

How to use a muddler

One of the first tools created for the purpose of cocktail-making, the muddler has drawn flavour from

“It was originally a bit of a jack of all trades, but when ice began to become

Rather than find itself banished from the bartender toolkit, the toddy stick came to fulfil a niche

Renamed the muddler, its simple design remains as relevant today

“When used correctly, a muddler gives you the ability to access flavours and aromas that wouldn’t

Muddle too vigorously, and you’ll wreck your cocktail before you’ve even added any liquid ingredients

“It can leave your drink with an overly bitter taste,” says Yoann Tarditi head bartender at The

“For the best technique, push down firmly and twist the muddler – never bash! And use a sturdy

Today, there are different shapes and materials available – flat, toothed, wood, plastic, stainless steel – and each has

“It doesn’t really like getting cleaned in the dishwasher,” Brode says

Plastic and stainless steel are more modern, but they’re also heavier and have a different feel

“Personally, I’m a fan of a large, chunky, plastic muddler the size of a police truncheon,”

Toothed is best for fruit and spices, while flat is ideal for herbs, he says

“Trying to use a toothed one with sugar is a painful experience

The length of the muddler is also important – so often I have seen bartenders using a muddler

Speaking of technique – it’ll vary depending on the ingredient you’re muddling

If you don’t, you could end up over-muddling,” says Brode

You still want to be careful not to overdo it, but they usually need a little longer

“As soon as you smell the aroma of garlic, it’s saying ‘I’m ready’

” And make sure you use the right end – the rounded part is for the palm of your

“Don’t hold the glass by its lip or anywhere near the top,” says Will Rogers, head

Taking good care of your muddler is also crucial to the flavour of your drink – and the

“Clean your muddler after each time you use it,” Rogers adds

“You don’t want to be muddling chilli for one drink then using the same unwashed muddler

Ready to flex your new skills? You’ll find two classic muddled cocktail recipes by Brode, below

Place a napkin over top of glass with a demerara sugar cube on top

Coat the cube with bitters, drop it into the glass and introduce a dash of bourbon

Using the muddler, break up the sugar cube and add an orange twist, skin side up

Remove the twist and continue to muddle the sugar until it’s dissolved

Repeat the process until 60ml bourbon has been added in total

50ml Woodford Reserve bourbon 8 mint leaves 10ml sugar syrup Mint sprig to garnish

If you’re using a flat-bottomed muddler, turn the mint no more than twice

A selection of bar equipment including muddlers from Urban Bar is available from Master of Malt