COCKTAIL: IF IT WEREN’T FOR THOSE MUDDLING KIDS
Muddling: your trick to bringing out essential flavors in fruit and herbs. It’s also an essential part of any cocktail that incorporates fresh produce. Smashing berries into a juicy mash, releasing ginger’s juices, and mixing different cocktail ingredients into one pulp: the muddler is the Swiss army knife of bartending tools. We’ve had a chance to try out Arctic Chill’s model, a stellar and light-to-use spin on the cocktail tool.
Unlike a traditional wooden muddler, the Arctic Chill muddler incorporates a hollow tube and a ridged tip that doesn’t pulverize the drink’s produce senselessly. Use the sides to “wake up” and bruise herbs without tearing leaves, which releases a “green,” chlorophyll-ic flavor your cocktail doesn’t need. In the case of imbibing, you want a Sazerac, not a salad. Here’s a cocktail we made using the Arctic Chill muddler, fresh basil, and lime juice.
The name comes from an episode of Flight of the Conchords.
1 oz. gin
2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus a slice for garnish
5 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer
Stack basil leaves in a pile. Using the ridged end of a muddler, “roll” the muddler along the leaves and press the ridge very lightly into the leaves. Place leaves in cocktail shaker.
In the cocktail shaker, add the gin, lime juice, and a handful of cubed ice. Shake vigorously until condensation forms and tins are cold, about 30 seconds.
Place the lime slice in the bottom of a Collins glass. Muddle the lime slice using the ridged end of a muddler, twisting to release juice and pulp. Strain in the contents of the cocktail shaker and top with crushed ice and the ginger beer.