Need to up your cocktail game? Here’s how to muddle mint to use in all your favorite cocktail recipes: the Mojito, Whiskey Smash, and more!
Making a cocktail and it calls for muddling? Muddling is a technique used in drinks to gently mash herbs or fruit to release their juices. This helps the flavors to bind with the alcohol better than simply using them whole. Muddling is used in many popular cocktails, like the Mojito and Whiskey Smash. As you might expect, there’s a bit of technique involved in muddling: you don’t want to mash your herbs to a pulp! Here’s how to muddle mint: you can also use this technique for other herbs like basil or fruit like lime and lemon.
Here’s how to muddle mint!
Need to up your cocktail game? Here's how to muddle mint to use in all your favorite cocktail recipes: the Mojito, Whiskey Smash, and more!
- Fresh mint leaves (or other herbs: basil, rosemary, and so forth)
- Cocktail muddler
- Cocktail shaker
- The right way to muddle mint: Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or large metal cup or bowl. Using a wooden cocktail muddler or unfinished wooden spoon, gently mash the mint 3 to 4 times to release the juices. It should look like this.
- The wrong way to muddle mint: Do not mash the mint to a pulp! Here's an example of what it should not look like:
Tools required for muddling
Here are the cocktail tools that are used for muddling. We make a lot of cocktail recipes, so we decided to invest in the professional grade! If you prefer, you can muddle without a muddler — see the section below.
- Cocktail Shaker: A cocktail shaker quickly chills cocktails by shaking them against ice, then has a strainer so you can pour out the cocktail without pouring out the ice as well. It’s easiest to muddle mint in a cocktail shaker because it’s durable and you can then make the drink right in the shaker.
- Cocktail Muddler: An unfinished wooden muddler is recommended so that no artificial flavors flake off into your drink.
How to muddle without a muddler?
You might be wondering: is there a way to muddle mint without a muddler? (How’s that for a tongue twister?) You absolutely can; here’s what we recommend:
- What can I use instead of a muddler? Use a wooden spoon to gently mash the berries, lime wedges, and mint leaves.
- What can I use instead of a cocktail shaker for muddling? If you’re muddling mint, we’d recommend trying it in a large metal cup or bowl: do not muddle in glass for safety reasons. Then if you’re looking to make a drink without a cocktail shaker: use a glass canning jar to put the drink ingredients and ice into, then cover the top and shake! Pour it through a strainer into the serving glass.
Drinks with muddled mint, herbs, and fruit
Now that you know how to muddle mint: let’s get to drinking! Here are our favorite drinks that use muddle mint, herbs or other fruit:
- Berry Vodka Smash or Blackberry Bourbon Smash: This refreshing cocktail recipe muddles mint, lime wedges, and blackberries.
- Whiskey Smash Recipe: Muddle some mint and lemon and you’ve got a smash!
- Basil Gimlet Recipe: How to make a basil flavored gimlet? Muddle some basil.
- Gin & Watermelon Cocktail: Muddle lemon and mint, add watermelon and gin, and you’ve got one seriously tasty beverage.
Looking for more cocktail recipes?
Here are some more of our favorite cocktail recipes (where muddling is not required!):
- Best Frose Recipe (Frozen Rosé)
- Strawberry Daiquiris
- Watermelon Smoothie
- BEST Classic Margarita
- Blackberry Margarita
- Must-Try Gin Cocktails
- Best Moscow Mule Recipe
- Best Frozen Margarita Recipe
- Frozen Sangria
- Favorite Whiskey Sour
- Gin Fizz Cocktail
- Best Piña Coladas (or Virgin Piña Coladas)
- Basil Gimlet Recipe (or Classic Gin Gimlet)
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.