If you’re a fan of cocktails, you might fancy playing mixologist and shaking some at home. And while there are plenty of ways to stir up some fantastic concoctions, there’s one thing you can’t do without – a cocktail garnish.
What is a cocktail garnish?
A cocktail garnish is a vital (and fun!) part of cocktail making that can make your drink look like you’ve just got it from your favourite swanky bar. They provide a decorative addition to a drink that adds style and character, and can be simple, like a slice of lime, or more extravagant. While you might think a garnish is purely ornamental, there are other important things it does, too.
What else does a cocktail garnish do?
Not only do they look fancy – cocktail garnishes also enhance your tasting experience by stimulating special nerve cells in your nose and mouth. Furthermore, when you find something visually appealing, it can even enhance flavour and influence whether or not you enjoy a drink.
Which type of garnish goes with which drink?
The beauty of cocktail making is that you can be as creative as you like. But if you’re looking for some common pairings, some include:
- Rum-based cocktails – use a tropical themed cocktail garnish like a piece of pineapple and a cherry, or an orange twist.
- Vodka or gin-based cocktails – think olives, herbs and other botanicals.
- Whisky-based drinks – use a single maraschino cherry for a minimalist vibe.
Three of our favourite cocktail garnishes to make at home
Knowing how to make a citrus twist garnish is invaluable information as they complement a huge range of cocktails. You can use any type of citrus fruit for this, but the most popular are limes, lemons and oranges.
How to make a citrus twist for cocktails
A citrus fruit & a vegetable peeler or channel knife
Using a vegetable peeler or channel knife, remove a wide strip of zest with as little pith as possible. Twist and put aside until you need it.
Try out a citrus twist with our Hot Old Fashioned.
A salt cocktail rim
Adding a cocktail rim doesn’t just enhance the look of your cocktail, it can boost its flavour, too. A salt rim is a firm favourite of many cocktails, and it’s easy to do at home. Here’s how.
You’ll need: The juice of one lemon in a bowl & 50g salt on a plate.
Juice the lemon into the bowl. Dip your cocktail glass into the salt. Fill with your favourite cocktail and enjoy!
Try out a salt rim with our Quick & Easy Margarita.
A cucumber ribbon
When you have a drink that requires an element of cleanliness and class, the cucumber ribbon saves the day. Offering an elegant touch to many gin-based cocktails, the cucumber ribbon is easy to make at home and goes really well with herby cocktail garnishes.
You’ll need: A cucumber & a vegetable peeler.
Use your peeler to peel the peel down the length of the whole cucumber. Add to a cocktail stick in a concertina style. Voila!
Try out a cucumber ribbon with our Cucumber Collins.
So, now you’re a cocktail garnish aficionado, we can’t wait to see your creations! Tag us in your pic on Insta!