Think “press” not “pulverize” when you toss that fresh fruit or sprig of herbs into the cocktail shaker and whip out your muddler. “The goal is to gently extract the essential oils or juices from whatever you’re crushing,” says Rios. Over-muddle mint, for example, and you break the veins in the leaf, releasing chlorophyll and making the drink bitter. You can muddle everything from melon to cucumbers—each yields tons of flavor with minimal calories.
Try it out by mixing the following:
- Fresh raspberries 2–3 slices lime
- 1 sprig fresh basil
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 3 oz club soda
Directions: Muddle berries, lime, and basil. Add vodka and soda, shake, strain, and serve.
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