Wooden Or Metal Muddler - How To Choose The Most Suitable Cocktail Muddler?

Wooden Or Metal Muddler - How To Choose The Most Suitable Cocktail Muddler? - KITESSENSU

A cocktail muddler is an essential bar tool for muddling (or smashing) drink ingredients. The muddler is essentially a bartender's pestle, which is ideal for infusing fresh fruits and herbs into drinks. Muddling is easy to learn, and it will allow you to make several popular drinks, such as caipirinhas, mojitos, and old-fashioneds.

What Is a Muddler?

Muddled cocktails are also called stick drinks because of the long, thick sticks used in muddlers. Most are about the same size and design, though they come in a variety of materials.

A muddler's top is often rounded so you can hold it in your hand, just like a long pestle or miniature bat. It tapers to a broader flat bottom that occasionally has teeth. But you may have noticed there are different types of muddlers available in the market. Most of those are made of wood and metal. So how do you choose the best cocktail muddler for your home bar?


It is important to know the intricacies of the materials when choosing your bar tools. There are several materials used for muddlers. While each of these materials has its own merits, you must choose the one that offers the best value. 



Types of Muddler


Muddlers are generally made out of three different materials: wood, plastic, and stainless steel.

1.Wooden Muddler

Wood muddlers are the most popular and classic choice. Two basic shapes are available: one looks like a miniature baseball bat with a flat bottom and another is straight, like a windchime.

Many bartenders prefer these because they are quick to use and durable. Wood muddlers are also useful for cracking ice cubes into smaller pieces, as an added bonus.

These muddlers need extra care because wood is organic:

(1) Keep muddlers away from standing water and dishwashers.

(2) When muddling berries or other fruits that can stain the wood, rinse your muddler immediately with water. As time goes on, some staining is likely to occur, but that's just a sign that you put it to good use.

(3) Before storing your muddler, wipe it with a dry cloth and let it air dry completely.

2.Metal Muddler

Metal muddlers are also worth your investment. You will find pure stainless steel muddlers in the market. But there are also some with a composite plastic or silicone handle. It also comes in different designs - some have a slight taper at the middle, while others have a straight handle. Others have silicone handles for better grip and to minimize slipping. Most mixing tips are toothed so they can push down ingredients firmly, such as herbs and citrus fruits. 

The downside of stainless steel muddlers is the cold feel of the metal on the hand. In muddlers with composite plastic or silicone parts, it may trap some ingredients between the gaps. This is where the stainless steel meets the composite plastic or silicone. The decayed ingredients may give the cocktails an odd taste if the muddler is not cleaned properly. 

You should be more careful when mixing, especially with glass. If you are using purely stainless steel muddlers, you should use the cocktail shaker's tin. Rusting is a problem with metal muddlers. Moreover, mold can also grow on the silicone end of some muddlers over time.

3.Plastic Muddler


Most plastic muddlers are made of polycarbonate or ABS, which are composite plastics. The heads of these muddlers are more intricate because they can take on an unlimited number of forms when molded. In addition, they are more ergonomic and can have a variety of textures. You will find their textures from smooth to slightly rough. They are primarily designed to improve grip. Furthermore, their weight makes them more comfortable and safe to use. 

It is difficult to clean the deep grooves in the plastic muddler. Sometimes it may damage the herbs ingredients due to the deep grooves. Muddling becomes uneven because the muddler's uneven head does not touch the bottom of the glass.

Since polycarbonate carries a Proposition 65 warning, some customers do not prefer these muddlers. A Proposition 65 warning means that the company producing the product is aware that it exposes its customers to one or more chemicals. 


Tips For Choosing The Right Wooden And Metal Muddler


Today's drink muddlers look similar to toddy sticks. They still resemble miniature baseball bats. However, companies are still developing new models for better efficiency. Some may argue that they are better than the basic model. No matter what kind of muddler you choose, make sure to keep these factors in mind:.



In the past, only wooden muddlers or toddy sticks were available in the market. But today you get stainless steel, plastic, wood and what not. Each type of muddler has its own strengths and flaws. In most bars, bartenders use wooden muddlers. Simply because they are more convenient to use, especially when muddling delicate herbs like mint.

Furthermore, bartenders prefer wooden muddlers because they are essentially the original muddler. So perhaps they want to pay homage to its history. However, wooden muddlers require more maintenance. You need to hand wash these muddlers and oil it to prolong their life. A stainless steel or plastic muddler is ideal for mucking fruits. You can wash it in the dishwasher. It is very helpful on busy days to have this feature. That is why wooden muddlers are also becoming increasingly popular. If you have a home bar then choose the material wisely. Get a wooden muddler only if you have time to put effort into cleaning it.


We mentioned earlier that most wooden muddlers follow the baseball bat shape, but this does not apply to stainless steel or plastic muddlers. Their handles are usually straight and wide with a flat end. In addition, some have thinner handles in the middle with one rounded end and one flat end. Therefore, choose something that is easy for you to grasp and avoid hurting your hands while muddling. 


It's easy to tell a muddler's material by the feel and weight of its surface. If you don't get a good hold of it, your hands may slip while using stainless steel muddlers. These are heavier and smoother. Plastic muddlers are lighter than stainless steel ones, but they also feel smoother. Stainless steel and plastic muddlers usually have teeth on one end, which look like pointed waffle irons. 

You can varnish or not varnish wooden muddlers. Although varnished muddlers are smoother and prevent stains, they make your drink taste weird. It is better to spend extra time washing an unvarnished muddler than to have a strange taste in your drink. 

So now that you know what factors to consider when buying a muddler, let's talk about which one is best. Wooden muddler or Metal Muddler?

As wood and metal muddlers are more reliable, we are trying to focus on these two. Keep these tips in mind when choosing and caring for it. 


Wooden Muddler


Buy handcrafted wooden muddlers instead of store-bought ones. It may be a little expensive than the usual muddlers, but longer usage makes up for it. Make sure it is not lacquered, as lacquer tends to flake off with use and mix with drinks. Choose one made from solid wood, not laminated or pressed. As a result, it tends to be heavier than laminated and pressed ones.   

Wooden muddlers require oiling more frequently than metal ones to keep them in good shape. You should sand it occasionally to keep it smooth, and then coat it with edible oil, such as linseed oil, walnut oil, or tung oil. Treat muddlers and other wooden utensils with mineral oils, as they are usually derived from petroleum. Mineral oils are food-safe, but vegetable oils are better. Wait a few days for the oil to dry well. If there are traces of oil on the item, wash it with warm soapy water before reusing it. Be sure to oil it well before storing it to prevent cracking.  


Metal Muddler


The gap between stainless steel and the plastic composite can hide decomposed ingredients. So choose a muddler made of pure stainless steel. Make sure it has a lot of weight so you don't have to use unnecessary force when mixing ingredients such as herbs or citrus fruits. You should find a muddler that has no gaps or holes where some ingredients could get in. It can also crush ice if it is a hard metal.

All-metal muddlers are easier to maintain. After washing with mild dish soap, just dry it properly between uses. As automatic dishwashing detergent usually has harsher properties. So it is better to hand wash muddler. Bleach with a high pH and chlorine content.  




Making mojitos, old-fashioneds, mint juleps, and more requires precise muddling. When you know what to look for, choosing one isn't so difficult. Its function may appeal to some, while its style may appeal to others. It's your choice whether to go with the original design or the modern ones. Muddler bartender tools are timeless tools that bartenders and drinkers use according to their needs. You can visit Kittessensu to get your ideal muddler and browse some more bartending tools.


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