Thursday, June 23, 2011


This year we started a cocktail garden devoted to herbs of all sorts, hoping to fashion fresh and tasty cocktails for you to enjoy. But you need to be careful with fresh herbs in your cocktails. The green leaves contain chlorophyll which is tremendously bitter. That's o.k. if you are preparing bitters, terrible if you intend on using the plant oils themselves. Bartenders (and even me in the past) screw this up all the time. Ron used to wonder about my bitter mojitos because of my over-muddling.

So, only lightly bruise plant material will do. Here's the better way. Place sprigs of mint or just mint leaves in a shaker. Use a non-lacquered wooden muddler or wooden spoon to lightly touch the leaves in a circular motion. If you are muddling in a shaker, never leave the leaves in the shaker during shaking. The ice will annihilate the leaves into little mangled chlorophyll-laced bits. Often a simple mint spanking will suffice, like Jamie Boudreau does in the following video:

Raising the Bar with Jamie Boudreau - How to... by smallscreennetwork


2 ounces white crème de cacao
3/4 ounce Old Sugar dry honey liqueur
Dash blue curaçao

Muddle two mint sprigs in a shaker with a dash of white crème de cacao. Muddle with proper technique. Without adding ice, pour the white crème de cacao over the sprigs of mint still in the shaker. Shake the sprigs and remove. Add ice. Add the honey liqueur and dash of curaçao. Shake and strain. Spank a small new mint sprig for garnish.

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