Right. On to the next step.
It’s getting a bit muddled
Juleps, mojitos and some other cocktails call for fruit to be muddled to release their flavours. Cut larger fruits, like citrus, into chunks, and when using herbs, remove their stems to avoid bitterness. Now you get down to business. Muddlers come in all shapes and sizes, are often made from wood or bamboo, look like a pestle, and have a grooved side used to mash your ingredients. To use, press down in a twisting motion for about five to ten times. Herb leaves should still be intact, and adding a bit of sugar generally helps to release the greenery’s flavours. Apply pressure suited to your task: strawberries need a gentler touch than thick-skinned citrus.
Get more juice from citrus fruit by rolling them back and forth on a cutting board.
When possible, avoid cutting, slicing, zesting too far in advance. Orange and grapefruit juice last well when squeezed ahead of time – you could even push it to the night before. But your lemons and limes are best juiced as required – fresh and fabulous.
Shake it up. Shake it off. Just shake it.
For some moves that will put Tom Cruise to shame (if you don’t get this reference you’re too young and probably shouldn’t be reading this anyway) fill your shaker two-thirds with small cubes or cracked ice. Add the ingredients, pop on the top and get shaking.
Hold the shaker so the bottom is pointed towards your guests – that way, if something splashes it’s on you, and not your guest. One hand on the bottom (the shaker’s, not your guest’s), one on the top, and put some flair into it for half a minute or so. Strain the drink into the chilled glasses you’ve prepped and wow them all.