Cocktails that call for muddled ingredients are a diverse bunch. They range from the Mojito to the Wisconsin Old Fashioned and many, many more. The ingredients that see the business end of a muddler include mint and other herbs, various fruits, jalapeno or cucumber slices, ginger and just about any other edible ingredient in solid form whose flavor you might wish to impart into your drink.
These 11 cocktails, all created by top bartenders, will give you a reason to break out your muddler and put it to good use.
Gin Gin Mule
This ginger-and-mint flavored gin drink was created by Audrey Saunders and was a popular pick at her bar Pegu Club throughout its long run. To make it, muddle a mint sprig with lime juice and simple syrup, then shake it up with London dry gin and homemade ginger beer.
Fresh Berry Delicious
Bar vet Charlotte Voisey came up with this fresh and fruity sipper. Start by muddling strawberries with honey syrup, then add raspberry-flavored vodka, Licor 43, blood orange liqueur and lemon juice and shake it all up. Serve it up and garnish with a strawberry half.
The recipe was created by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric of Employees Only, the New York City cocktail bar that has since expanded to Los Angeles, Miami and Singapore. Fresh ginger and pineapple chunks get muddled with sugar and shaken with light rum, maraschino and apple liqueurs and lime juice. Finish it off with a pineapple frond for a festive tropical touch.
Boat House Punch
This large-format cocktail from Julie Reiner of Clover Club and Leyenda in Brooklyn starts with a lemon oleo saccharum, made by muddling lemon peels with sugar. From there, the ingredients include gin, Aperol, St-Germain and lemon, orange and grapefruit juices. It’s all topped with a bottle of sparkling rosé. It’s a crowd-pleaser, for sure.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
Essentially a variation on a Spicy Margarita, this drink from New York City bartender Greg Seider begins with muddling watermelon chunks with jalapeño slices. Then the familiar Margarita ingredients of tequila, lime juice and agave nectar join in, getting shaken and served on the rocks.
This isn’t your ordinary Mule variation. This riff, created by Jim Meehan while at PDT in NYC, calls for cucumber slices muddled with agave nectar, plus mezcal, lime juice and passion fruit puree. It all gets topped with ginger beer and finished with a garnish of a cucumber slice, fresh ginger and a dusting of chile powder.
New York City bar pro Phil Ward starts this cocktail off by muddling watermelon chunks with sugar and soda water before adding aged rum, lime juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. A strawberry-and-pineapple garnish provides sweetness to balance the spice.
Ryan Magarian, bartender and cofounder of Aviation gin, created this cocktail to highlight his gin’s delicate flavors. It calls for blood oranges muddled with sage leaves before shaking them with gin, lime juice, simple syrup and an egg white. The resulting frothy texture forms a perfect base for a sage leaf garnish.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
Space Gin Smash
From British bar pro Angus Winchester, this cocktail starts off with a veritable fruit salad’s worth of ingredients muddled in the shaker—green grapes, apple and lemon wedges and mint leaves—which get joined by gin and shaken. A festive garnish of an apple fan, grape and mint sprig completes the minty-fruity effect.
Muddled chunks of fresh ginger start off this tropical cocktail from bartender Willy Shine. Rum, pineapple juice, simple syrup and Angostura bitters round out the drink’s fruity and spicy flavors, with a lime wheel as the finishing touch.
Grilled Pineapple Mojito
This recipe comes from Johnny Swet, the co-owner and bartender of JIMMY at ModernHaus in NYC. A mint sprig gets muddled with lime juice and agave nectar to start, then stirred with pineapple juice and topped with rum, grilled pineapple chunks and a mint sprig garnish.