Instant Expert!: Cocktails from A to Z

Learn all you need to know about cocktails, including bartender basics, must-have bar tools and common drink ingredients in our A to Z cocktail and bartender guide.

Text by Rebecca Flint Marx and Stacy Adimando

Elliot Stokes
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M is for Muddle

To MUDDLE means to press an ingredient against the bottom of a glass to coax out its flavors and break it into shippable pieces. Here's how to do it yourself:

1. Place the muddling ingredients in the bottom of a cocktail glass or shaker. Sprinkle in any sugar called for in the recipe (its rough texture will help the other ingredients break down as you mash).
2. Using a muddler, pestle or the tip of a wooden spoon, gently mash the ingredients against the bottom of the glass or shaker, twisting as you go to help release their aroma.
3. Pour in ice and any remaining cocktail ingredients; stir gently to distribute the muddled bits evenly around the drink.

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