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birder53

Muddling, Muddlers, and Muddled Drinks

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Do muddled drinks need to be made one at a time? I tried doubling a recipe recently and found the muddling part more difficult. Distributing the final drink into the glasses and making sure the fruit was equally shared was a messy challenge as well. Any suggestions on how to muddle more than one at a time?


KathyM

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Yes, one at a time.

No secret. All attention shared with the first one through to the last one. That's why they are so fantastic. :smile:

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In our house, the muddler gets the first one. :wink: Sort of a quality control/motivational system, resulting in vast puddles of delectable muddles.

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Yes, one at a time.

No secret. All attention shared with the first one through to the last one. That's why they are so fantastic. :smile:

Then one at a time shall we muddle! :biggrin:


KathyM

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& if any one asks where their cocktails are you can tell them you are just "muddling through". ":^)


in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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What are some of people's favorite muddled drinks?

The two I make most often are Mint Juleps and Mojitos. (yum)

edited to add: When I am making those for more than one, it does help to have a sort of 'mise en place'. That is, have each of the muddling ingredients measured into each glass. Then it is quicker to add the liquor, etc and make them one after another.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Ramazzotti with muddled orange.


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Ramazzotti with muddled orange.

Intriguing name; pray tell how do you make it?


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Ramazotti is of the same genus as Cynar and Campari. It's one of those odd herb aperitifs made in Italy. Some people (myself not included) like it with soda. To make the drink just put ice in a highball glass with a slice of orange, muddle, then add Ramazotti.

Stir, drink. . . make another.


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Thanks ned.

Sounds very interesting. I googled a bit to find out more and interestingly, almost all the hits were german web sites.

Found one english listing on Beverages and More Website where they describe it as

"The original Italian sweet and strong liqueur. Powerful and fresh made according to a traditional recipe. Try as a shooter, after dinner digestif, or on the rocks. Refreshing!"

ramazzotti


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I noticed a while back that muddling was viewed rather favorably in some places. Like higher up the ladder on the quest for a perfect cocktail or omething... It's the sort of mentality I think that makes someone decide "if a fresh whiskey sour is good, a whiskey sour made with cube sugar muddled on a slice of lemon will be even better!"

So why do people bother with muddling? Does it have a time and place, or is it just a gimmick?? (Or is it actually a superior method??)

I mean yeah, crushing sugar has that old-timey feel some people really enjoy, but even back in the day bartenders in the know recommended using sugar syrup, because sugar doesn't like to disolve in either alcohol or cold liquids, two ingredients commonly found in almost all mixed drinks.

As to muddling fruit, I never quite understood that either... is it because all you've got on hand fresh fruit wise are slice-sized garnishes?? I suppose that would make sense... But if that's not the case, and you're looking to extract the juice and oil from the peel, simply squeezing the fruit or giving the peel a twist seems like it would work more effectively. Is muddling just for those rare occasions you find things like fresh blueberries at the bar for some reason and no juicer anywhere in sight???

I get muddling herbs in non-shaken carbonated drinks, like the Mojito, since I can see how shaking the non-carbonated ingredients and then adding the soda might seem like making additional work... In uncarbonated shaken drinks you can just throw the herbs into the shaker along with everything else, and the ice cubes will give it more than enough of a muddling to unleash the essential oils.

Am I missing something obvious here? :blink:


Edited by mbanu (log)

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There are times when muddling makes sense and times when it doesn't, I suppose.

There is not much to be gained from muddling a sugar sube with bitters, if that's all you do, compared to simply combining the bitters and the appropriate amount of simple syrup. However, if you muddle the bitters and the sugar sugar cube together with a fat slice of lemon zest and "abrade" the surface of the zest against the sugar grains, you will extract flavors that are simply not possible with an aggressive twisting of the lemon peel. Try it and see.

Similarly, there is an obvious difference in flavor between a drink that has been made with muddled citrus and one that has not. Try making a Sidecar with regular fresh lemon juice and then make the same drink by muddling the lemon in the mixing glass. The flavor will not be remotely the same, and again, the flavor of the muddled drink would not be possible with aggressive twisting. First of all, you would have to twist the peel of an entire lemon into the drink to equal the same amount of lemon peel. Second, muddling directly into the mixing glass is simply a more efficient and thorough method of oil extraction. Third, muddling will also extract a small amount of the bitter flavors from the pith. There is a certain pungency that results from muddled citrus that is not available any other way. This is not to say that muddled always equals better, by the way. I wouldn't want a muddled Sidecar.

In other cases, I think you're exactly right. It's simply the most efficient way to incorporate things like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries into a drink. It's relatively simple to do, and you wouldn't want to have to make up a batch of "strawberry juice" before service every night. I assume there would also be serious issues of flavor degradation with things like fresh strawberry or blueberry juice.

You do have a point with respect to muddling tender herbs into drinks that you're planning on shaking hard. But whether the drink can be shaken hard enough without risking dilution will be highly dependent on the ice you're using (ice has been the subject of much discussion among my friends in the bar biz of late).


--

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There is not much to be gained from muddling a sugar sube with bitters, if that's all you do, compared to simply combining the bitters and the appropriate amount of simple syrup. 

While I would perforce have to agree with this from a strictly gustatory point of view, I think that there's another perspective that some might want to take into account.

The Old-Fashioned, the drink being referred to here, is the world's first retro cocktail--an 1890s reaction to the gussification of the cocktail. At the time, to make a "standard" whiskey cocktail, if there was such a thing, a bartender would've filled a large bar glass with a mess of fine ice, dashed some simple syrup and some bitters into it out of little bottles with squirt tops, added a "gigger" of liquor (most likely bourbon or rye) and as often as not a dash of absinthe, stirred the whole thing or shaken it depending upon his doctrinaire preference, strained it into a fancy stemmed glass and applied the lemon peel to it (sometimes there was also a cherry, or a pickled walnut, or what-have-you).

Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this. But it's not the way old-timers had learned to take their cocktails, back in the days of Andrew Jackson, when the barkeeper produced a cocktail by taking a small tumbler, placing a lump of sugar in it, adding a little water and crushing the sugar with a "toddy-stick" (basically, a slimmer version of our muddler; it could be made of hardwood, silver or even--at the El Dorado, in Gold-Rush San Francisco--of solid gold). Once the sugar was crushed, he would dash in some bitters from of a bottle fitted out with a cork with a length of goose quill thrust through it, pour in a tot of liquor (as often as not, brandy) and add a large lump of ice hacked from the block behind the bar. If it was a fancy cocktail, he might splash a little "curacoa" in it, twist a swatch of lemon peel over the top and rub it around the rim.

So the Old-Fashioned was an automobile-age look back to the days when railroads were a dangerous novelty; when Indians still roamed east of the Mississippi; when the best restaurants served roast bear and the passenger pigeon was a popular game bird; when barrooms were alive with "the merry raps of the toddy-stick." It's a liquid plea for a saner, quieter, slower life, one in which a gent can take a drink or two without fear that it will impair his ability to dodge a streetcar or operate a rotary press.

That's why I like to muddle my sugar cube when I make an Old Fashioned.

Edited to correct a couple of the little illiteracies.


Edited by Splificator (log)

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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Great post, Dave. There is definitely something to said for the entire ritual that goes into making a cocktail, and the Old Fashioned is one where it comprises a signifncant part of the process. I had an OF sitting at the bar at Milk & Honey a few weeks ago -- stirred with one big lump of ice cut from the block, with the twist cut to order and trimmed of pith, sugar and bitters muddled, etc. It took a long time to make, and watching the process was just as good as enjoying the drink.


--

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I am not a big fan of muddled drinks. Flavors of muddled drinks are more intense since the citrus oil are being pound the hell out of. The oil is the key contributor to flavor and scent. The juice only provide tartness to the drink.

Cheers,

AzianBrewer


Leave the gun, take the canoli

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Thanks to this post in johnnyd's foodblog on making the perfect caipirinha, I have been muddling away. After a quick search, I found this thread, but I cannot believe that these few are the only muddled drinks out there. Surely there are others... yes?

Also: with what does one best muddle? I have been finding that the handle of a wooden lemon juicer works very nicely when I'm too tired to pull out the KitchenAid grinder pestle. Does anyone have any of these babies?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Some people start an old-fashioned by muddling half a slice of orange or even just an orange rind with the bitters and sugar (or simple syrup). I really like the extra kick the aromatics give the drink. Other people prefer their fruit unmolested and their bourbon uncontaminated.

-Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Other people prefer their fruit unmolested and their bourbon uncontaminated.

The same sorts of people who don't like oysters and are bad in bed, I'd imagine. :wink:

What about muddled cosmos? I read something somewhere referring to that...


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Almost any drink with citrus can be muddled for a change of pace. Here's a good trick: If your cocktail formula calls for X ounces of citrus juice and you want to try muddling it, muddle the citrus in the mixing glass by itself and then once all the citrus pieces are pressed out you can pour the citrus juice out of the mixing glass into a jigger or measuring cup to see if you have the right amount of juice.

You should also consider what kind of drink you're making if you're muddling citrus. Those little bits of pulp are okay in a "country" drink like a Caipirinha but would be unwelcome in a muddled Daiquiri. In the case of something like a muddled Daiquiri, it is worthwhile to double-strain the cocktail -- pour it through the Hawthorne strainer into a fine mesh strainer on its way to the glass.


--

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I didn't see Degroffs Whisky Smash mentioned any where yet. And if this isn't one of this loveliest muddled drinks ever i'll drink a cosmo made with house vodka, well tripple sec, roses lime and cran out of a gun whos lines havent been cleaned in a couple a years. (this is the cocktail geek version of "i'll eat my hat", it doesn't roll off the tounge but the image...) And one can happily sub rye, rum, or gin. The thing i like about the smash is the delicateness of the drink. the esential oils of the lemon don't overpower the mint.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Some people start an old-fashioned by muddling half a slice of orange or even just an orange rind with the bitters and sugar (or simple syrup).  I really like the extra kick the aromatics give the drink.  Other people prefer their fruit unmolested and their bourbon uncontaminated.

-Erik

Hi Erik,

thats why i like to serve the old fashion with a kind of mini muddler .... in germany we have them, made from glass, normally used for tea glasses (O.k. UK Tender...listen...We don't serve Tee glasses ..but its popular in germany)

So we do a wedge of Orange and a wedge of Lemon in the old fashion and the guest can muddle it a little bit their style.... most Old Fashion Drinkers like it that was...

Kind Regards

Jörg Meyer

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i didn't want to start a new thread and this is the closest to the topic that I could find through a quick search, but what do you guys use for muddling? I mean, is your "muddler" store-bought, or just the end of a broom or something?

thanks!


Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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Mine is store bought. Look for something like this. What you'd like to have is wood that isn't covered with laquer. For the creme de la creme, you want a PUG Muddler by Chris Gallagher (information and an image may be found about halfway down this page.

While on the subject of muddled drinks, one of my favorites is Julie Reiner's "Mint Jules" at Flatiron Lounge. It's a simple concoction of a few ounces of Maker's Mark, muddled mint, smashed (i.e., aggressively muddled) limes and a touch of simple syrup, all shaken and strained.


--

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Both of my favorite favorite drinks are muddled! Dark rum, with ice, lime and raw sugar; and dark rum with ice, milk and raw sugar! I love muddling them, too, it's just a fun process and I like the feel of the sugar in the bottom of the glass during the action. I really SHOULD learn something new, though. These have been my standby bevs for almost 20 years now! I'm going to search for a new drink, perhaps a smash?

edited to add: my muddler is glass.


Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

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I've got a couple normal wooden muddlers.

Since I find mine a little short for muddling drinks in the cocktail shaker, I really wish I had one of David Nepove's Mr. Mojito Muddlers, which come in several lovely hardwoods and Food Safe Plastic!

Mr. Mojito Muddlers

If you buy a laquered muddler, you will need to sand off the laqueur and treat it with mineral oil (or whatever you normally use on your other wooden kitchen utensils.)

Been making a lot of caipirinhas and caipirinha variations lately, myself. Pretending I'm somewhere tropical seems to make this long rainy winter a little more tolerable.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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