When we came across an adult beverage named the Bulldog Smash, it came with a challenge: Difficulty points awarded. We didn’t quite see the issue until we got to the word, “muddle.”
A well stocked bar, they say, must include a muddler. This essential bar tool is designed to smash and mix (or muddle) drink ingredients, namely herbs like mint leaves and certain fruits. Beverages like the mojito, Old Fashioned, Sensation and Caipirinha aren’t the same if the ingredients aren’t muddled because muddling releases the flavors.
That’s the easy part. Where it gets contentious is what kind of muddler to use (copper, bamboo, all-hardwood, or stainless steel), and whether or not the working end should be textured, rubber tipped, or smooth. Where it gets really tricky is technique. If one isn’t careful, it’s easy to bruise herbs which will make a drink bitter (and ugly!) Some people jam a muddler up and down, some press down and twist, and others simply “crush the leaves with delicacy” (huh?). We leave it to bartenders (and the Internet) to share the proper technique. We simply want to share the recipe:
The Bulldog Smash Drink
- Half a lemon
- Half a peach, pitted
- 6-8 fresh mint leaves
- 1 tsp sugar cane syrup
- 2 oz bourbon
- .75 oz Cointreau
In a shaker, muddle a lemon, peach, mint, and sugar cane syrup. Add the bourbon and Cointreau. Fill a shaker with ice. Shake, strain into a glass, and fill that with crushed ice. Garnish with an extra sprig of mint for flair.
Image: “Koretauna Sleeps”