Why Garnish a Cocktail?
By Tom C - 7 years ago

Put simply, a cocktail garnish should be the crowning glory of your drink! It creates a magnificent visual appeal but even more importantly it compliments the taste and smell of your cocktail, ensuring a memorable drinking experience! DID YOU KNOW that most of the scent in citrus is stored in the skin and not the juice? So adding a twist of lime or lemon to your G&T will release those ah-mazing aromatic oils – yes and yes!

Drinking cocktails should be a sensual experience achieved by alluring all 5 of your senses; sight, taste, smell, touch and of course sound because your drinking partner not stop chewing your ear off after enjoying so many cocktails due to their fabulous garnish!

The exact origin of cocktail garnishing is unknown, however the first known reference to using citrus peel as garnish featured in the Bartenders Guide waaaay back in 1862!

Typically, Rum based drinks often have a tropical themed garnish such as pineapple/fruit wedge or mint. Tequila and citrus are a match made in heaven, while garnishes in Vodka and Gin based drinks are a little more on the classy side such as olives in a Martini or onions in a Gibson, which add a savoury element. Whisky/brandy drinks tend to have minimal garnishment, if any.

Just to name a few, here are some popular garnishes; fruit wedges, citrus twists, cherries, mint, strawberries, grated nutmeg or chocolate, vegetables (like in our favourite breakfast food the Bloody Mary), olives, onions, berries, watermelon, orange, grapefruit, salt, coffee beans, coriander (yes I said it!), cream and not forgetting our favourite festive little umbrella! If you are attending a hens, it’s entirely likely you may even come across a penis-straw – true story.


Want to create a fabulous garnish at home? We share our simple tips below, to ensure you get it right!

1.Compile and use appropriate tools such as knife, grater, peeler

2.Choose a garnish that compliments the flavour profile and enhances the taste of your cocktail

3.Use fresh top quality ingredients and ensure they are properly washed

4.Make sure your garnish is structurally sounds – no one wants to be hit in the eye with a pineapple wedge

5.Ensure you garnish thoughtfully and give it some lurve. It should complete the presentation, not deter!


Have fun 🙂

Tom C