Yay! Muddling!

Do you find yourself wondering what all those “weeds” are doing floating in my drink? …and what is muddling anyway?  Why do bartenders muddle?  Why not use a blender? Miss Flighty address these issues and more in this episode on Muddling.  Its the second most fun to be had behind the bar.

Your Flighty Hostess loves to muddle and has always felt a smirk-inducing delight when tossing unsuspecting fresh ingredients into a glass, knowing that pounding them with a large wooden stick like a culinary Goodfellas boss was imminent. There’s nothing like the process of combining and crushing fresh fruit and spices, releasing flavors into the glass and having aromas escape for a customers refreshment right in front of them, their demeanor often dictating the intensity of the muddling rhythm. Regardless of your irritation level at the 400 Mojito’s you’ve already prepared for the seemingly endless stream of Sex And The City slickers, be gentle, don’t pulverize the poor contents, especially when dealing with delicate herbs like mint.
You might be thinking, “Really, Alberta, how hard can it be?”  Honestly, not very, originally the only difficulty was locating a muddler after the one Alberta was working with splintered in her hand, prompting a crafty bar patron to fashion one out of handle from a garden hoe. Big muddlers and the small ones both have their uses, try to find one that has both widths for convenience.  A tool with a 3/4 to 1″ radius pulverizes ice with ease and the big ones are great with stone fruits and berries.  It seems counter intuitive and a little awkward in your hand at first, so try a little experimenting on  your own and see how enjoyable a little mild tabletop violence can be. 

As far as procedure is concerned, there are only a couple of suggestions relevant to how the order of components are put in the glass and the most optimum grouping of ingredients for maximum flavor. Contrary to popular opinion, sequence is not as vital as many bartenders would suggest.  Just know that for the dense textures like thin apple slices, Alberta suggests adding the spirit first (such as Bourbon or Gin), and for other drinks such as a Julep, firstly adding the sugar is recommended so it will act as a gentle sandpaper and also draw out the delicate flavor.  Primarily, Miss Flighty feels its always best to add flavor and texture with the muddle, steering away from processed fruit. Realize that pre-processed fruit purees add a smoothie like quality, blanketing the drink and not allowing the delicious alcohol characteristics to come through.

Muddlers are available in fine foodie stores, restaurant supply, and a myriad of locations on the web.  For the finest quality and to lend support to one of the Bay Area’s Mixology Pioneers, go to Dave Mr. Mojito Nepove online store  http://mistermojito.com/muddlers/ .

Trust me, you will want one these babies.

 

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