The muddler is key to making some of our favorite smash drinks like the Mojito, Mint Julep, and Old-fashioned. This is one of the essential tools that every bartender should own and after awhile, you will quickly learn that its uses stretch beyond smashing mint and citrus.
Though the muddler is really nothing more than a solid stick, all muddlers are not created the same. There are many poorly designed and constructed muddlers out there. As stick drinks become more popular, the options are... growing. Great muddlers can be found at a variety of price ranges so everyone can enjoy a great muddled cocktail.
01 of 05
Uber Bar Tools is known for a fantastic line of professional-grade bartending tools and their ProCrush Muddler is no exception. The design is very modern—almost space age—and it is nothing short of cool.
This is the Cadillac of muddlers and the features are nearly endless. The stainless steel muddler uses a patented ProGrip handle: your thumb goes inside the upper hole, giving you a nice, firm grip. When the muddler is flipped, this end also becomes an amazing ice crusher that makes quick work of... the toughest cubes.
The muddling head is plastic—a combination of silicon and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)—and has teeth that quickly muddle the toughest fruits and herbs. It is also wide enough to prevent juice from splashing back into your face when used in the standard mixing glass or shaker tin.
If and when the muddler wears out, the head can be unscrewed and a new head purchased to replace it. This is an important consideration because the ProCrush is not cheap. At around $60, it is designed to last a bartender's lifetime and withstand the pressure of mixing thousands of drinks.
02 of 05
OXO is another company that is known for making quality bar tools and drink gear. Their steel muddler is a perfect example.
This muddler has a slimmer design than most but the gripping handle is wider. This is great for bartenders who find grip to be an issue with the average muddler.
The nylon muddling head has small, strong teeth. It will not scratch the surface of your mixing glasses, which is a bonus for drinks made directly in the serving glass.
Made of zinc, OXO's muddler is built to last... and at around $15, it is a great value. It is the perfect option for the amateur who likes the occasional Mojito.
03 of 05
This muddler is probably the most mundane looking of the lot but, as the name suggests, it is a badass muddler.
There are no frills, no special style points, or anything particularly appealing about Cocktail Kingdom's "Bad Ass" Muddler, it just simply gets the job done and it does it well. At 1 1/2 inches in diameter and a solid 14 ounces, it is thick and built to last out of the same food-grade plastic that many cutting boards use.
The simple design has two main features. One end is... rounded for the gentle muddling of herbs and delicate ingredients. The other end has a sharper edge that will break down and mash berries and anything else that needs a little muscle.
This muddler is under $15. It is going to be a workhorse that is a no-fuss tool that will be there to muddle whatever you need it to.
04 of 05
The Bar Keys Muddler has a number of good things going for it and it can quickly become one of your new favorite muddlers.
This muddler uses the shape that many stainless steel muddlers have taken on—a sort of bell shape with a tooth grip base. It is a perfect design that fits into any sized hand. There is something about the leverage you can get from it that makes it perfect for crushing anything that you need to in the bar.
Possibly one of the best parts of this tough muddler is that it's... dishwasher safe. After an afternoon of mixing Mojitos, just toss it in and it's just like new.
The price is definitely right with the Bar Keys Muddler. At less than $15, this is a quality muddler that anyone can afford.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Wood muddlers have long been a favorite among bartenders though many leave a lot to be desired when it comes to longevity. It is inevitable that your favorite wooden muddler will get stained or crack after a period of use. Also, many of the cheaper options have a nasty varnish or stain coating that could taint your drinks.
The wood muddler from Fletchers' Mill solves all of those issues. It uses the classic club-like shape that is common in wood muddlers, but this one's tough. You can... even use it to crush ice and it won't break in half.
Made of American hardwood by American artisans, this wood muddler is kiln-dried maple. This means that it will not crack or warp so you can get years of muddling out of it with the right care. The company doesn't coat it but does suggest that you could season it with mineral oil.
Though they offer two sizes, it's best to go with the 11-inch muddler. This will ensure you can reach the bottom of your tallest glasses without constantly hitting your hand on the rim.
This particular muddler is also sold at a great price of less than $15. For the wear and tear that this is going to stand up to, that makes it a deal on a wooden muddler.