Muddle through the late summer

Fiona McLaren
Fiona McLaren
Fresh drinks creator Fiona McLaren is joining us every fortnight with some tips, tricks and innovative soft-tail (non-alcoholic) and cocktail recipes.

It has not been the hottest summer, so bring a little sunshine to your end-of-season drinks.

I love to muddle strong flavours to release all the oils and juices of the fruits or herbs. You need to muddle the ‘‘dry’' ingredients first to ensure you collect all the essential bursts of flavours without the liquid ingredients, which tend to dull the brighter notes.

Gardens are full of fresh herbs, and berries are all about. Use what is fresh and seasonal.

As the raspberry season comes to an end make the most of this delicious and zingy fruit.

Fresh limes have been expensive but used sparingly and in full by muddling with the berries you get their entire worth.

Tip: A muddler is a bar instrument equivalent to a pestle (of a mortar and pestle). It is used to crush herbs to release their flavour and aroma, fruits to release their juices and break down the flesh, and to release the oils and intense flavours held in citrus’ zest.

I like to layer the ingredients with citrus on the bottom, herbs in the middle and berries or other fruit on top. I think this protects the herbs from being bruised and discoloured and helps to break down the other fruit. It leaves you able to end with a good lean, or firm pressure on the citrus without destroying the integrity of the fruit’s shape too much (more visually appealing).


Just a few presses with the muddler should do the trick - there is no need to pulverise anything. Stop when the scents in the glass are stronger and sweeter than the whole fruits or items themselves.

Photo: Ashleigh Heyward
Photo: Ashleigh Heyward

The Last Hooraspberry

Serves 1

1 lime
a few leaves of mint
a small handful of raspberries
30ml gin
30ml lychee liqueur

Muddle lime, mint and raspberries together.

Place in glass of your choice.

Add ice

Pour over gin and lychee liqueur.

Fill with dry ginger ale and stir.

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