Bar Tools - VIVA! Stick Muddler
Item: VIVA! Stick Muddler
ITEM TYPE: Muddler (Fruit Muddler, Bar Muddler, as you like)
MAKER: Shawn Soole
COST: $9.95 US (Plus Shipping)
Overview: Viva la Liquid Revolution! Large plastic muddler with star patterned ridged bottom.Designed as the low cost alternative to wooden muddlers and to be better than those short plastic pestle type sticks.
The basic idea behind this is the difference between traditional wood and plastic, much like cutting boards - yes, I love wood muddlers such as the PUG and TAG, like my wooden cutting boards, but I'll sacrifice tradition for speed and ease of use when I want to get drinks done fast and not worry about cleaning up as much later.
With wood you must use oil to maintain integrity, clean it carefully and watch what you use it for; with plastic, it may not be as sexy, but it works with anything and easier to clean.
Another point for this muddler is its price and the attendant fact that if you are working at a bar it is much less likely to get stolen than your prized wood muddler.
Appearance: Looks like a kitchen implement brush handle, or flashlight at first glance.
First Impression: Longer (almost 12 inches) and larger (2 inches across bottom, business end) than most muddlers makes it a joy to use - a lot more leverage and coverage, and easy to keep track of rather than some small stick that disappears in the clutter or mixing glass (see image at left of muddler next to a standard martini glass).
Testing: Work well on a variety of drinks, larger end/grinding surface make it simple to thoroughly muddle ingredients and still maintain control of a glass. Some of the smaller ones can go sideways and send a glass shooting off onto the floor. Plastic mudling/grinding end doesn't chip or break glass like some of the metal ones can. Also not being metal they will not react with anything in a drink, corrode or leave bits of metal or plating in a drink. Unlike a number of higher end muddlers, this one can be put in a dishwasher and requires zero maintenance beyond that.
Final Thoughts: A decently made piece barware,good size and cheap. A serious workmanlike bar tool that would be a great addition to any bar home or professional as it is well made, works well,easy to clean and maintain and hard to break, all important points for consideration. Another point is being non-absorbant plastic you can muddle/mix/grind virtually any ingredient with it and not worry about carryover or contamination so it's great when you are fooling around with exotic spices or other ingredients that could be a problem later for a wood muddler.