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Muddling herbs is a technique used in bartending to release the essential oils and flavours of herbs by crushing or bruising them with a tool called a muddler. 

This is typically done by pressing the herbs against the bottom and sides of a glass or mixing tin, in order to release the aroma and flavour of the herbs into the drink. 

The process is commonly used to make cocktails such as mojitos and mint juleps.

Some common herbs used for muddling include mint, basil, and rosemary however you can muddle any herb that has a flavour you love. Lavender, lemon balm and even unexpected herbs like sage, basil and thyme – will all add amazing fresh flavour to your cocktails and mocktails!

Follow these basic steps to muddle your herbs at home:

  1. Use a sturdy, thick walled glass or cocktail shaker.
  2. Add herbs and a bit of sugar or simple syrup to the bottom of the glass.
  3. Using a cocktail muddler, the end of a wooden spoon or even the back of a tablespoon, gently but firmly press the herbs against the side of the glass, twist and repeat. 

Do not shred the herbs to bits and pieces – it can make your drink taste bitter and you’ll end up with tiny green bits that aren’t pleasant to drink.

  1. Remember to be gentle and twist only until you smell the aroma of the herbs. 
  2. If you see the herbs are starting to tear or you have small pieces breaking off, you have “over-muddled” and your beverage will be difficult to drink.