Perfecting the Serve
Great cocktail garnishes can be the literal cherry on top of your home bartending skillset—enhancing the way your drinks look, while adding to the aroma and flavor. Integrate these cocktail garnish techniques into your craft and you’ll be looking like a pro in no time.
When you’re ready to start garnishing cocktails, search no further than your friendly neighborhood citrus grove (or grocery aisle). Fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits offer a number of simple ways to enhance the drinking experience.
Wedges can be placed on the side of the glass and squeezed into the drink for some added flavor, like adding a hint of lemon to a ginger highball. Wheels look great placed on the glassware or even floating in cocktails you serve “up” like the Hemingway Daiquiri.
And don’t overlook the skin of the fruit. The flavor and aroma from the oils hidden within make citrus peels a go-to garnish for drinks the Old Fashioned.
Deep red cherries drowned in a Manhattan. Delightfully salty olives in a martini. It never hurts to serve a tiny bite of food with a cocktail to complement the flavor. Stock your bar with some garnish skewers and you’ll be glad you did. Bloody Mary bar anyone?
When you’re really ready to bring your bartending to the next level, herbs are where it’s at. Mint is probably the best known, used in classics like the Mint Julep and mojito, but there are a ton of other vibrant options—basil, rosemary and thyme, just to name a few. Just be sure to slap the herb against your palm before placing it into the drink. This activates the oils and brings out the aromas that make these cocktail garnishes shine.