Recently, I blogged about making lemonade for one person by muddling one lemon. I’ve tested some other one-person recipes recently, and, while they were nice, this recipe is still tops.
Of course, there is this slight issue: how do you get a great muddle. In the picture above, there are two wooden instruments, typical of what you can find at any cooking store. One has a round bottom and one is blunt. And, to be blunt, I was never thrilled with their results. For lemons, they are kinda okay. But when I need to muddle mint for a mojito, these wood creatures just lack the power. After all, when you muddle, say mint, you are supposed to be releasing oils and flavor. Tough to do that with a round bottom. You find yourself bearing down hard and worrying that the glass will break.
Ah, so Suzi and I were at a bar recently, and we saw the bartender using a very new muddling instrument. A metal handle lead to a metal bottom that was flat, but had holes cut into it. As she maneuvered the muddler, you could smell the scents she was releasing.
So, I went to my local cooking center, Blue Cashew, in Rhinebeck. Did they have the metal plate with holes? No. They had better. That device in the picture comes from Oxo. The bottom is a square network of pyramid shaped extensions that are prominent and sharp. Muddle with this critter, and you get results. It’s my new tool of choice.
Here’s the original muddled lemonade recipe. With my new tool, I am doing some experiments. You can add some mint leaves, other herbs, or berries. I even added a tablespoon of pickled jalapenos for a heated lemonade. The combination of sweet lemons followed by jalapeno fire was fun, if perhaps a tad breathtaking.
Yield: 1 ½ cups, enough for one large beverage
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup of cold water
- ½ cup simple sugar syrup [or less if your wife is watching]
- Ice cubes
Wash the lemon and cut off the ends. Slice the lemon into 4-6 thin slices. The operative word here is thin.
Put two of the slices in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddled them to pieces. Truly, into lemon mush. Then add two more slices and repeat. Continue until all the slices are in fragments.
Why not muddle them all at once? You can do a much better job two slices at a time.
Add the water and sugar syrup. Cover and shake.
Pour into a tall glass. You can strain out the lemon fragments as you pour, or let some in, or let them all in and then pull a few of the chuncks out.
Add ice and stir. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes then enjoy. Garnish with mint if you desire.
Source: Brian O’Rourke inspired by that nameless, talented bartender