Presentation and functionality are the first steps towards creating fabulous drinks like a pro. Picture: Pexels (Geraud Pfeiffer)
Presentation and functionality are the first steps towards creating fabulous drinks like a pro. Picture: Pexels (Geraud Pfeiffer)

4 pro garnishing tips to level up your cocktails

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published May 5, 2021

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Presentation and functionality are the first steps towards creating fabulous drinks like a pro.

Competition is fiercer than ever before and patrons are as demanding as ever.

People pay for a craft cocktail because they want to be amazed.

Luckily, entertaining customers is what bartenders do best.

The same applies to home bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, those who love being perfect hosts and take pride in making great drinks for friends and family.

There’s no reason why home-made cocktails can’t look and taste as beautiful as the ones you can get at upscale restaurants, fancy hotels, and trendy bars.

Cocktail garnishes add more than just visual appeal, they are also responsible for subtle aromatics and flavour finishing touches that add depth to a drink.

A well-chosen cocktail garnish has the power to elevate.

In case you need to add variety to your garnish game, we have put together four garnishes trending right now.

Mint, thyme, and basil

Drink expert, Aaron Shuttleworth says that when it comes to choosing a garnish that will complement your cocktail, he suggests taking your cue from the drink’s featured flavours.

“Look to match your garnish to the main flavours in the drink.

“For example, mint works well with American whiskey, whereas thyme and basil tend to complement more savoury cocktail flavours like Bloody Marys and Martinis,” says Shuttleworth.

Citrus

Citrus garnishes are not only good for that extra bit of acid the juice can add to a cocktail, but also because of the stunning aromatic essential oils in their peels.

A citrus garnish will complement most spirits, from gin and tequila to vodka and even the odd rum drink, particularly those with a citrus component.

Flowers

According to The Cocktail Garnish, edible flowers of all colours and sizes have long been part of the kitchen repertoire, although, with its restrictions, flowers are expensive.

“Flowers have made their way to bars and are not going anywhere.

“Baby’s breath, lavender, orchids, pansies, hibiscus, roses, and marigolds are some of the more popular choices.

“We must issue a warning.

“Not all flowers are safe to eat or to use as garnishes for food or drinks, some are quite dangerous.

“Even edible flowers, if not sourced adequately, can have residue from chemical sprays like pesticides, insecticides, rodenticides, and fungicides to name a few.

“Although floral garnishes are pretty, use them or toss them since they only stay fresh for a few days,” they report.

Fruit

This category of cocktail garnish includes everything from an orange slice in an Aperol spritz to cocktail cherries in a manhattan to a wedge of pineapple in a pina colada.

Fruit garnishes are great for adding a subtle fresh fruit flavour and aroma to the finished drink, and they often give us a visual cue about what flavours are in the glass.

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