The mortar and pestle are ancient tools that no modern kitchen should be without – they’re handy for everything from cracking peppercorns and bruising herbs to making pesto. The mortar is characteristically a bowl, typically made of hard wood, metal, ceramic, or hard stone such as granite. The pestle, is a blunt, club-shaped object. The substance to be ground, which may be wet or dry, is placed in the mortar where the pestle is pounded, pressed, and rotated into the substance until the desired texture is achieved. They can be used to make certain cocktails such as the mojito, which requires the gentle crushing of sugar, ice, and mint leaves in the glass with a pestle.