Obviously, they look super cool. But the Roost Hemingway Muddlers aren’t just for looks. A muddler is a handy bartending tool that can kick up your cocktails from “ho hum” to “oh yum!” Plus, they are totally fun to use- you get to use a groovy flick and twist o’ the wrist. Since we received our new Roost Hemingway Muddlers, we have been exploring all sorts of ways to use them. Here is our easy guide to using and caring for your muddlers.
How to Pick the Right Muddler
Here at AML, you’ll notice that when your order your Hemingway Muddler, you will actually receive a set of 3. Why? Well, because each one is a little bit different and serves a distinct purpose. The first muddler has a star tip and a narrow shape. This makes it ideal for reaching down to the bottom of tall, skinny glasses. The star tip is perfect for tearing into tough citrus fruits at the bottom of the glass, and releasing the oils from their peels.
The second muddler is smooth and sleek with a rounded tip. This one is ideal for muddling delicate mint leaves and other herbs. This way, you can get the herbs to release their oils without crushing or bruising them. In drinks, the point is not to tear into herbs or shred them into tiny ribbons. The point is to give them just enough abuse to get them to release their fragrant essence.
Lastly, the third muddler is the tallest one, with a smooth, flat tip. This makes it ideal for mashing soft fruits, such as papaya and mango, into the bottom of a glass. Plus, you can use a handy tip from mixologist Eben Freeman of Tailor Restaurant in New York City, and use this muddler to easily crush up ice cubes.
One of the most classic recipes that utilizes a muddler is a mojito, a delicious and refreshing drink that originated in Cuba. In this video from Howcast, you’ll see that the mixologist places the lime wedges on top of the mint leaves in the glass. This is a great tip to remember when working with a muddler: place the tougher ingredients on top and the more delicate ones on the bottom. That way, the top ingredients will receive the most force from the muddler.
Another excellent use for your muddler is with berries. Just check out this yummy muddled raspberry and lemon drink called the Muddled Rebuttal. Make this your signature cocktail at your next party- it is sure to be a hit.
Echo Restaurant and Bar in Portland, Oregon has quite the selection of creative and delicious muddled drinks. One that we think is just sublime is the classic British cocktail, Eco Pimm’s Cup. To make it, muddle some cucumber chunks in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, then shake it up with Pimm’s Cup No. 1, Seagram’s Gin, and juice of lemon and lime. Strain it over crushed ice, and add just a splash of ginger ale for a touch of effervescence.
Once you get the hang of using your muddlers, you really don’t even need a recipe. You can just get creative with different fruits and herbs. Try placing some basil leaves and grapefruit slices in the bottom of your cocktail glass. Or, to make your 8 glasses of water a day more interesting, muddle a piece or orange and a sprig of rosemary at the bottom of your water glass before pouring in your water.
Caring for your muddlers
Good old hot soapy water is the best way to regularly care for the beautiful wood of your muddlers. Never scrub the muddlers with anything abrasive, as this may scratch the wood. In order to help your muddlers retain their beautiful color and sheen, it is also a good idea to give them a soak in food grade mineral oil every 4-6 months. You can find food grade mineral oil in drug stores or grocery stores. It may be labeled as a “lubricant” or a “laxative,” but don’t let the verbiage turn your off. Give your muddlers a soak in the oil for on hour, then rinse them with warm water, and wipe them dry with a soft cloth. Voila. With this simple routine, you can keep your Hemingway muddlers looking like new for years to come. So keep calm and muddle on!
For some additional signature cocktail ideas, check out our summertime blog, Using Fresh Garden Herbs in Cool Summer Cocktails. And for another “how to” with a super cool Roost kitchen appliance, check out our Top 5 Uses for Your Roost Mortar and Pestle.