A muddler is a sort of long, thin pestle for crushing fruit, herbs and sugar lumps into cocktails. It needs to be long so that it reaches into the bottom of the glass and it needs to be thin so it doesn't cause tidal waves as you move it up and down. A muddling spoon is the same sort of thing, except that the crushing area is usually slightly smaller than a plain old muddler, and (surprise) there's a spoon at the other end. They're also known as bartenders' spoons. 

This one is unusual in that the spoon is perforated. To be honest, I have yet to use it for making cocktails. I have another, bought a year or two before, which I have used for cocktails; but as I almost never make cocktails and I bought the original spoon mostly for novelty value, it's a fair question why I bought another. 

The answer is that it's perfect for taking capers out of the bottle, draining them as they are lifted: the other one isn't perforated. It may seem an extravagance to have a spoon especially for capers, but then again, a lot depends on how fond you are of capers. Also, to be fair, you can buy mustard spoons and salt spoons, and for that matter absinthe spoons, so why not a caper spoon? It might even be that I will start making cocktails with it. 

The important things are first, that it's a long-handled spoon with a perforated bowl; second, like most muddling spoons, the bowl is at an unusually steep angle to the stem (ideal for getting stuff out of jars); third, it's pretty (which is one of the main reasons I bought it); fourth, it is something of a memorial to a bygone age when cocktails were more fashionable; and fifth, it was silly-cheap, at a vide-grenier of course. I forget exactly what I paid for it, but I think it was 1€: call it 80p or $1.15. It may have been half that; it may have been twice. For something that pretty, that useful, and that much of a period piece, 2€ or even (shock! horror!) 5€ would have been a bargain.

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Words and picture copyright (c) Roger Hicks 2016