How to buy a Muddler

cocktail muddler

Ok, I have to admit it. This whole category is a bit of a selfish indulgence. I enjoy making a finely crafted cocktail nearly as much as I enjoy sipping them on my balcony in this fine Houston fall weather. Maybe you know someone like me? Handsome and cultured?

Well, if you do, count yourself as lucky… to have found such a great place to get gift ideas for that person! Each Friday we will showcase a bit of gear that will perfectly round out your aficionado’s personal bar program.

Muddle your cares away…

And we’re getting things started with a fun one. The muddler is a key tool for the bar used in cocktails from the classic Sazerac to the trendier Mojitos. You use to mix, mash, and blend solid ingredient with the liquors in the drink. For the Sazerac, you crunch up a sugar cube in the herbal bitters. For the Mojito, you mash the mint, releasing the flavor in the drink. The whole process looks fancy and that grinding those ingredients down in the bottom of a bar glass can be quite the stress reliever after a long work week.

But beware! There’s a couple tricks to getting good muddler.

First of all is size. The rule isn’t quite ‘the bigger, the better’ but it’s close. You want something that you’ll be able to fit in your hand comfortably over a pint sized bar glass. I’d stay away from anything shorter than ten inches or so.

The second rule only applies to wooden muddlers. Don’t buy a finished muddler! If you use one of those you’ll end up with varnish in your Sazerac. And no one likes varnish in their Sazerac. So stick to muddlers with unfinished wood. I recommend this muddler from Vic Firth or this muddler from Kegworks.

There are also a lot of stainless steal/plastic muddlers on the market that certainly meet both of the rules above. I’m a bit of a purist. I stick to the classics. But maybe y’all will know. Any good recommendations on synthetic muddlers?

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