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Garnish Ideas and More for Cocktails and Mocktails!

November 10, 2022

Garnish Ideas and More for Cocktails and Mocktails!

Cocktails Mocktails Bitters Gin Apothecary Gimlet Negroni Martini Old Fashioned
“Every drink should have something,” said Naren Young, an owner of Dante in Greenwich Village and a bartender who has frequently spoken on the importance of garnishes. “People are more engaged when there are more things to talk about.”*

Garnish, a term from olden times meaning embellishment, not only enhances aroma and flavor of a well-crafted drink, but also heightens visual experience for your guests. They can be extremely complicated, and sometimes even involve small snacks on the side to accompany the beverage, as seen on the latest Netflix series Drink Masters. However, even without special tools you can create some great garnishes' at home in your own kitchen by simply following our step-by-step process. 

HOW TO MAKE A CITRUS TWIST

The following directions will teach you how to make a lemon twist, but you can apply the same technique to most citrus fruit! Try out our step by step instructions below, but once you complete it, we suggest playing with your citrus peels and seeing where your creativity leads you! There are so many shapes and styles you can make with the peel. Try running the peel along the rim for an added zest to drinks that are made with citrus. It is an easy way to add complexity!

Step 1)  With a sharp knife, slice a lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit into wheels about half an inch thick.
 
Step 2)  Cut a slit into the peel. Run a knife along the pith (the bitter white part), separating the peel from the fruit.
 
Step 3)  Wrap the long strip of peel around a straw or chopstick to create the twist shape.
 
Step 4)  Set the twist on the rim of a cocktail glass for a fun garnish!
 

USING EDIBLE FLOWERS IN COCKTAILS

Edible flowers are an amazing way to elevate any cocktail or mocktail drink with very little effort. Some fancier grocery stores sell them in clamshell containers, but you can also grow them yourself! We happen to sell an adorable edible flower growing kit but you very well may have some of them right in your yard (or perhaps your neighbors?). Always take into consideration how a flower was grown, and remember to not use any flowers that have pesticides sprayed directly on the petals.

 Negroni with flower made with DIY bitters from Grow and Make

Some common flowers include:
Rose petals
Nasturtium
Viola or pansy
Borage
Calendula Petals
Marigolds

 

 

Pictured: Negroni - use a marigold in combination with an orange twist

  

COCKTAIL PICK GARNISH

We aren't sure what is cuter, the cocktail picks or miniature skewers of fruit, but who doesn't love getting a beverage with a tasty little colorful morsel? Of course the classic maraschino cherry is the most famous of them all, but don't stop there. Honestly, there are no limits to fruit that you can use with a cocktail pick. Here are some that we recommend below.

  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Peeled mandarin wedges
  • Lychee (canned or fresh)
  • Blueberries
  • Dragonfruit
Flamingo cocktail with cherry orange garnish made with DIY bitters from Grow and Make 

For an old fashioned add an orange wheel and cherries on a cute cocktail pick! 

  

HERBAL SPRIGS

A mojito is probably the most common drink served with an herbal sprig, in this case, mint. However there are many herbs that can add a splash of color, and enhance your drink, not only in looks, but also to your nose. Herbs such as parsley or cilantro work well with bloody marys. Even a green onion or a chive can add a lot of fanciness to your Sunday shenanigans and can be found in the herb section of your local grocery store if you aren't growing it yourself.  Lavender is a great accompaniment to more neutral drinks that just need a touch of the floral. The sprig will stick up and as you drink, your olfactory senses will be working and adding to the flavor in a great way. Your guests will be impressed, but so will you. 
Drinks such as champagne which aren't typically considered a cocktail, become one when you add floral notes such as this. Rosemary works well with flavors like Gin. Thyme accompanies shorter drinks and more savory flavors well. 
Mojito cocktail with mint lime garnish made with DIY bitters from Grow and Make

 

 

 

 

 

Mojito's an others - muddle mint at the bottom and add sprigs of mint and other herbs

 

 

Lavender cocktail with lemon garnish made with DIY bitters from Grow and Make

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Champagne flute served with a lemon twist and lavender to add a floral note for the nose.

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A RIBBON GARNISH

Choose your vegetable, such as a cucumber, carrot, mango, or anything that can provide a long flat surface. Using a sharp peeler, remove the peel, until you have the desired width of your ribbon. Often, ribbons are made to a thickness so that the edge is lined with the peel, but the center is just the fruit or vegetable. 

how to make a Cucumber ribbon

Create a thin long ribboned strip of vegetable or fruit. Next, using a cocktail pick, pierce the ribboned fruit back and forth to create a wavy effect.

example of a cucumber ribbon on a cocktail pick carrot ribbon mango ribbon

You can also roll it in a spiral, do this gently as to not "break" the ribbon, and then pierce it from the side. This can create a beautiful flower effect!

 Cosmopolitan with a cucumber garnish gin cucumber martini

 

 Become your own drink master  - Mixologist Approved!

Purple cocktail drink with lemon twist garnish Mixology DIY Gin and Cocktail Bitters making kits from Grow and Make
We're really excited about the new mixology kits we made, have a look!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 *source


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