Muddling is a bartending technique used to release the flavor of cocktail ingredients by crushing them with a tool called a muddler. The muddler looks like a miniature baseball bat and is usually made of wood or plastic.
To muddle an ingredient, simply place it in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or glass and crush it gently with the muddler until the desired level of flavor has been released. Be careful not to overdo it, as this can make the cocktail taste muddy.
Classic cocktails that use muddled ingredients include mojitos, which are traditionally made with mint leaves, and caipirinhas, which are made with lime wedges. Other popular muddled cocktail ingredients include cucumbers, berries, herbs and spices.