Muddling is a common technique used in the bar. You may know it from popular drinks like the Mojito, Mint Julep, Old-fashioned, and Caipirinha, but there are more fabulous recipes that require a little smash with the muddler.
The technique of muddling is very simple: take a thick stick and smash your ingredients in a glass or cocktail shaker. It is the perfect way to release the juices from fruits and the essences of herbs and it is used to create some of the freshest cocktails you can make.
While muddling is not a new technique, it fell out of favor for a number of years because it was often thought as too much work to put into making a drink. This is certainly not true and we are seeing more and more bartenders reach for the muddler when developing new recipes.
In the following pages, you will find over 100 fun and tasty cocktails that begin with a little muddling action. From the popular rum cocktails to market-fresh vodka recipes, there is sure to be a drink in this collection for everyone.
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Muddled Rum Cocktails
Rum is one of the most common base spirits used alongside a muddler. This is because the cocktails often have a tropical flair and feature fresh fruits that need to be broken down.
Popular Muddled Rum Cocktails
Among the most famous rum recipes that need to be muddled are these three shining stars of the cocktail world.
- Caipirinha - cachaca with muddled lime and sugar
- Hot Buttered Rum - dark rum with muddled butter, sugar, and spices
- Mojito - rum with muddled mint, sugar, and club soda
More Muddled Rum Cocktails
Once you fall in love with the Caipirinha and Mojito, you will want to expand your palate and give one of these recipes a taste. Many of them are simply adaptations of those popular drinks and they often bring in a different fruit or add some simple and fun new twist.
- Brazilian Sangria - cachaca with muddled fruit, absinthe, brandy, and orange liqueur
- Caipirini - cachaca with muddled lime and sugar
- Dragon's Heart - rum with muddled lime, elderflower cordial, and bitters
- Homecoming Caipirinha - cachaca with muddled apple, lemon, sage, and cinnamon agave nectar
- Independence Day Mojito - rum with muddled mint, watermelon, and raspberries
- Kumquat-Ginger Caipirinha - cachaca with muddled kumquat, ginger, and sugar
- Paulista - cachaca with muddled blueberries, blueberry liqueur, and lavender syrup
- Pineapple Mojito - rum with muddled pineapple, lime, and mint
- Raspberry Bellini - cachaca with muddles raspberries, lime juice, and sugar
- Raspberry Caipirinha - cachaca with muddled raspberries, lime juice, and sugar
- Spiced Pear Caipirini - cachaca with muddled ginger
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Muddled Whiskey Cocktails
Whiskey also makes an appearance in many muddled cocktails and you will need a muddler to make a few of the best whiskey drinks ever created.
Popular Whiskey Smash Recipes
As soon as you own a muddler, you will want to try these whiskey drinks. They are unbelievably easy and the perfect recipes for accenting your favorite premium whiskey.
- Mint Julep - bourbon with muddled mint and sugar
- Old-fashioned - bourbon with muddled orange, sugar cube, and bitters
- Sazerac - rye whiskey with a muddled sugar cube and Peychaud's Bitters
- Whiskey Smash - bourbon with muddled mint and lemon
More Muddled Whiskey Cocktails
Moving past the basics, it's time to get a little wild. The following recipes are modern creations that are sure to put a spark back into your cocktail routine.
- Blackberry Malt - Irish whiskey with muddled blackberries and simple syrup
- Cocoa Old-fashioned - cocoa rye whiskey with muddled orange, brandied cherry, demerara syrup, and mole bitters
- Georgia On My Mind - bourbon with muddled basil
- Ginger Julep '68 Fastback - ginger bourbon with muddled ginger and brown sugar
- Manhattan 101 - bourbon with muddled ginger, mint, powdered sugar, and bitters
- New Old-fashioned - bourbon with muddled peach, simple syrup, and bitters
- Summer Breeze - whiskey with muddled orange and Cointreau
- Warm Old-fashioned - bourbon with muddled orange, cherry, soda, sugar cube, and bitters
- Whiskey Cider Julep - Irish whiskey with muddled mint and simple syrup
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Muddled Vodka Cocktails
Vodka may not be the first liquor you think of when it comes to muddling, but it is used in a lot of modern recipes. That is because fresh is one of the hottest trends on the bar scene and vodka is always hot, so it is an ideal match.
Muddled Vodka Cocktails You Should Try
Among the many vodka cocktails on this list, I wanted to pull a few out to bring to your attention. These seven cocktails show off the full range of vodka drinks, from spicy to sweet and any of them will impress even the most finicky of drinkers.
- Flirtini - vodka with muddled pineapple and Cointreau
- Kiwi Martini - citrus vodka with muddled kiwi and simple syrup
- Lavender Lemon Drop - lemon vodka with muddled lavender and simple syrup
- Sage Lady - mango vodka with muddled cucumber, sage, and simple syrup
- Strawberry Vodka Lemonade - vodka with muddled strawberries
- Vanilla Rose - rosemary vodka with muddled vanilla bean and lavender syrup
More Muddled Vodka Cocktails
Vodka is the perfect base for any market- and garden-fresh cocktails. Its semi-transparent flavor is ideal for sweet fruits, warm spices, and fresh herbs and this collection is definitely not boring.
- Broad Stripes and Bright Stars - blueberry vodka with muddled absinthe, lemon juice, and simple syrup
- Celery Cup No. 1 - cucumber vodka with muddled cucumber, celery, cilantro, and lemon juice
- Citron Sipper - citrus vodka with muddled cucumber
- Ginger Snap Martini - pear vodka with muddled ginger, molasses, simple syrup, and spices
- Lotus Blossom - pear vodka with muddled lychee, lime, and sugar
- Mango Spice - mango vodka with muddled jalapeno pepper, mango and agave nectars
- Melon Cucumber-tini - melon vodka with muddled cucumber
- Orchard Catch Cooler - vanilla vodka with muddled strawberries, basil, and simple syrup
- Peary Bird - vodka with muddled pear, nutmeg, and simple syrup
- Pot of Gold - vodka with muddled cucumber and mint
- Red Velvet Shortcake - Zing Red Velvet Vodka with muddled strawberries
- Spiced Pumpkin Martini - pumpkin vodka with muddled ginger and spiced syrup
- Strawberry Vodka Champagne - vodka with muddled strawberries and simple syrup
- Summertime Fruit Punch Lemonade - vodka with muddled watermelon and parsley
- Sweet Heat - ginger vodka with muddled habanero pepper
- Tomojito - tomato vodka with muddled lime, cherry tomato, and basil syrup
- Vodka Mojito - a fantastic alternative to the classic mojito with vodka instead of rum
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Muddled Tequila Cocktails
Tequila has a lot of flavor potential and we are seeing more tequila cocktails employ the muddler. You will see many fruits used in these recipes, but also take note of the hot peppers because spicy drink lovers will want to try those beauties.
Continue to 5 of 7 below.
- El Pepino - tequila with muddled cucumber, cilantro, and simple syrup
- Garden Patch Smash - tequila with muddled blueberries and raspberry-lavender syrup
- Jalapeno Margarita - tequila with muddled jalapeno pepper
- Pomegranate Margarita - tequila with muddled pomegranate
- Papaya Smash - tequila with muddled papaya and agave nectar
- Reposado Old-fashioned - tequila with muddled cherries, nectarine, and agave nectar
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Muddled Gin Cocktails
Gin meets the muddler? While unusual and certainly breaks the tradition of gin favorites like the Martini and Gin & Tonic, you will quickly discover why these two elements of the bar are a perfect match.
5 Featured Gin Smash Drinks
No muddled gin cocktail is exactly popular - known and loved worldwide - yet there are a few drinks I feel you should try. These five easy and super-fresh recipes show off the full potential of gin drinks in their freshest form.
- Basil-ica - Plymouth Gin with muddled basil, lemon juice, and simple syrup
- Blackberry Sidecar - gin with muddled blackberries, lemon juice, and triple sec
- Cucumber Wasabi Martini - gin with muddled cucumber, wasabi, and simple syrup
- Watermelon Cucumber Cooler - gin with muddled watermelon
More Muddled Gin Cocktails
If you still don't think that gin can stretch into new worlds, these cocktails will quickly change your mind.
- American Collins - gin with muddled blueberries and cherries
- Aura In Me - genever with muddled peppercorns and cardamom
- Biltmore - gin with muddled pineapple
- Eye Candy - gin with muddled ginger, mint, and simple syrup
- French Pearl - Plymouth Gin with muddled mint
- Green Gin Giant - gin with muddled lime, cucumber, basil, mint, and simple syrup
- Pineapple and Sage Gimlet - gin with muddled sage and simple syrup
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Muddled Brandy Cocktails
Brandy is used much like whiskey when the muddler is needed. In fact, you will find that a number of these brandy-based drinks mimic our favorite whiskey smashes. The first three recipes are also old-timey classics that you will want to taste.
- Brandy Old-fashioned - brandy with a muddled sugar cube, soda, bitters, orange, and cherry
- Brandy Smash - brandy with muddled mint, sugar, and club soda
- Champagne Bowler - Cognac with muddled strawberries and simple syrup
- French Quarter Smash - brandy and moonshine with muddled lemon and almond syrup
- Ginger Tea - Cognac with muddled ginger, mint, and simple syrup
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More Muddled Cocktails & Mocktails
There are a number of muddled recipes that skip the base liquor completely. In this first set of recipes, you will discover drinks that rely on a spirit of a different kind. They're unique and a lot of fun.
- Besame - Agavero with muddled lime and raspberries
- La Vie En Rouge - Grand Marnier with muddled rosemary and simple syrup
- Treetini - VeeV Acai Spirit with muddled orange
Finally, you don't always have to include booze just to use your muddler. The following recipes are tasty non-alcoholic drinks that everyone can enjoy.