"Muddle" is a word used to describe the action of a bartender combining ingredients together by means of crushing or mashing them to allow for flavors to be enhanced in the drink.
Although you might not yet understand the word, it's undoubtedly a skill which bartenders have used for a long time to mix the very beverages you have already indulged in. For that matter, the method probably is practiced nearly as often and is just as necessary as straining or shaking. So whether you are just starting out in the world of bartending or have mastered much of the art already, knowing your muddler is quite essential to furthering your studies.
When you muddle, flavors are merged from mashing them up by way of something known as the muddler. A muddler is the actual tool you use which resembles a mortar, as in a mortar and pestle. It's use and look are both similar to a mortar, but the material its composed of can vary. Some are made of wood, plastic or even metal. Which material you choose is entirely up to you. Many bartenders prefer the wood muddler over the steel version because of the type of pressure it places on the ingredients. In circumstances when you don't have the luxury of using a muddler, the back of a spoon can accomplish a similar result.
Most often, it is done right in the drinking glass that is being used to make the drink, and is also carried out just before most of the concoction's liquid ingredients getting added to the mixing cup. It might sound as though the technique is somewhat standard, you'll find there are in reality several ways to muddle. Most people learn that muddling the ingredients using only a down and up motion is the best way to go. Other individuals choose a less aggressive method by simply turning the muddler to blend the flavors. Some bartenders even employ a little of the two processes to obtain the perfect result. Ultimately, the secret to muddling is to get a muddler.
Fret not whether you have muddled before today or you've just discovered this valuable technique. As a mixologist, you need to apply it to your drink building repertoir immediately. Muddling can make creating a plain drink into a drink that is exceptionally flavorful and enjoyable. It brings out the aromas from particular ingredients, for example citrus fruits, that you wouldn't get should they be just thrown into the glass.
Now the next time you see the term "muddle," grab your muddler and muddle like a pro! Your tastebuds will be pleased.