5 Cocktails That Were Made for Muddling

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What’s the best way to get the most flavor out of your cocktail? Muddling. The gentle mashing and combining of fruits with other ingredients will help to release fresh flavors and encourage a mingling of your base and spirit. In fact, it may be even more important than shaking or stirring when it comes to creating the perfect summer cocktail.

Be careful not to over-muddle when working with delicate herbs such as mint and basil (which will become bitter) or delicate fruits that may benefit from larger pieces (for color and for visual appeal). Rosemary, lemon, limes and sturdier ingredients will be able to stand a heavy muddling. Whether you choose to use a wood, plastic or metal muddler, it’s the ultimate tool to craft these summer cocktails.

Pineapple-Raspberry Rum Refresher (pictured above)

Skip soda water or tonic and use coconut water for your summer cocktail. Melissa D’Arabian gently muddles frozen raspberries before topping with coconut water, pineapple juice and rum. Stir gently and serve with sprigs of mint.

Mojito Limeade

The mojito may be the ultimate muddled cocktail, and Bobby Flay’s version is no exception. The key to a mojito is the combination of fresh mint and lime. Muddle mint leaves and lime wedges with crushed ice before adding homemade Lime-Mint Syrup for sweetness, along with rum, lime juice and more ice. Top off with club soda, to taste.

Muddled Lemonberryade

There are two stages of muddling for this cocktail, based on the sturdiness of the ingredients. The first combination of sliced limes, mint and sugar can take a heavier hand before fresh berries come in for just a light mashing. Add water to the overall mixture and refrigerate until chilled.

Muddled Screwdrivers

Muddled Screwdrivers

Alex Guarnaschelli loves these cocktails with breakfast. Slice a few oranges (wake them up with a bit of lemon juice), then use a wooden spoon to “bruise” the orange slices so that the oil in the peels emerges and the pulp from the orange mixes with the lemon juice. Add in vodka, ice and orange juice and you’ve got a great morning drink.

Mint Julep

Mint gets a serious muddling for this classic cocktail, as you need to crush the mint leaves in the bottom of a mint julep cup until they form a paste. Add ice, simple syrup and bourbon, then top with seltzer.