Summer has arrived on the West Coast, and Summer’s Dog Days leads us directly to Mojito Season. Sticks have long been used to mash fruit; today they are still used in cocktail bars and called muddlers, muddle sticks, mojito muddlers.
Why muddle? Muddling bruises the leaves or skin of the fruit releasing oils and flavours. Your drink is now bursting with the romance of robust flavours of the tropics; a beverage transcending the ordinary. Simply put, muddling is the ultimate expression of a fruit-enhanced cocktail.
Don’t have an official muddler yet; tired of rummaging through the kitchen drawer only to find improvising with chopsticks doesn’t quite complete the job? Whisks…lovely to twirl but hard to crush delicate leaves, and finally, you’ve stumbled upon a wooden spoon. Bingo…except for that lingering taste of garlic in the mint. Paaallllllllease!!
Add a wooden muddler to your drink-making kit. There are styles for every taste of bartender and for every type of function. Choose between a gently rounded, flat or textured shape – and you’ll have the ability to achieve everything from gentle bruises to a coarse crush. Mint leaves need a light hand but a healthy slice of orange needs a little more work. Personalize the feel and incorporate an angled top edge – give your thumb a little extra leverage.
Muddlers made from wood will not react with ingredients and can be produced from a variety of dense wood species. They do require more careful maintenance, and they may even require an occasional application of oil. The number one mistake I’ve seen is that many people purchase wooden muddlers that have been varnished. The varnish inevitably wears off into drinks. I suggest our natural HW Professional Oil – from the Oli-natura product line – would suit this application well.
Remember, a true muddler should provide style and evoke conversation, even when it’s not in use.