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Sep 10, 2012 11:12 PM

Muddling v.s. Mini Food Processor or Blender

I'd like to replicate a Lemon Basil Blueberry Spritzer that I have enjoyed locally. Directions from the maker -are to muddle the blueberries and basil before adding lemon, sugar syrup, seltzer (vodka if you want).

Do you think muddling does something in this instance that a mini food processor can't do? I ask because i am just more habituated to using my food processors rather than muddling.Thx much.

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  1. I’m pretty sure the food processor would just annihilate the ingredients where muddling simply helps separate some of the juice and pulp from the ingredients but doesn’t completely break them down or destroy them. I don’t think a food processor has a delicate enough setting to compare to a muddle in my opinion your results would vary greatly using that method instead of muddling.

    1. Food processors can overdo it especially since muddling is not very efficient. Like muddling citrus releases some of the bitter oils from from the peel whereas food processing it might release a lot more. Same with herbs like mint as overmuddling or food processing will release the chlorophyll. I guess that it also boils down to how long of a pulse you run the food processor for.

      4 Replies
      1. re: yarm

        thx you two. i guess i'm wondering- if i'm just doing basil and blueberries, why would it matter if it were even pureed and sitting at the bottom of the glass ?

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Even if your not worried about over muddling do you want a straw full of basil bits or basil stuck in your teeth?

          1. re: quazi

            hey quazi, your reasoning sounds reasonable, but you know what? That's exactly what happened with the basil and blueberries that were muddled in the drink that inspired me -a straw blocked up with basil leaves and blueberries!!

          2. re: opinionatedchef

            You can still do pulses with the food processor and not turn the ingredients into liquid. That way a secondary fine straining step with a tea strainer can remove the coarser bits. Well, the secondary straining is recommended for many drinks even if you're muddling (clearly not all, such as with the Caipirinha).

        2. Muddling is supposed to be a gentle process that just bruises the ingredient, not break it down. So that just the oils or juices are released. If you get a muddled drink that has you spitting out pieces of ingredients, the bartender didn't know what they were doing. Of course some berries just fall apart under almost any pressure. This is when straining and double straining can come into play.