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What is a Cocktail Muddler?

stainless steel ice bucket


To help release the flavours of your cocktail ingredients, the cocktail muddler is an essential tool for crushing (or muddling) herbs, spices and fruits. Typically made of a rounded hardwood, a muddler can even be used to crack ice to help add a finishing touch to your cocktail.

The cocktail muddler is derived from the traditional kitchen tool, the mortar and pestle. Usually measuring 7" plus, the cocktail muddler is designed to be long enough to reach the bottom of a hiball cocktail glass and the bartenders' favourite, a Boston Cocktail Shaker.

While muddlers are best known for being made from hardwood (for example, maple), they are also available in stainless steel or plastic. Some prefer the use of the steel and plastic muddlers as they are easier to sanitise after use. Due to the rough nature of muddling ingredients, some prefer the use of the traditional wooden muddler for use in a glass to reduce the risk of breakages.

As an alternative to the traditional rounded wooden muddler, some muddlers have a 'waffled' end which is ideal for tearing at fruit and other hard ingredients to do more than simply mix them with other ingredients.

Whereas cocktail muddlers are used in the initial mixing process of a cocktail, a mallet is offered to the drinker of the cocktail when served. The mallet can be used as a drink stirrer, or the wide end can be used to continually crush ingredients to help release the flavours further.
Some professional steel mixing spoons offer a flat end at the top of the handle to provide a muddling tool.