The Art of the Garnish: Garnishing the Perfect Cocktail

Garnishing the perfect cocktail.

Garnishing the perfect cocktail.

A couple of weeks ago we covered how to shake the perfect cocktail, so the logical follow-up to that post is on how to garnish the perfect cocktail, right? That’s what we thought, at least. Giving a cocktail the perfect garnish is no small task. When it comes to decorating the rim with a slice of fruit or floating an herb or flower on the drink’s surface, aesthetics are everything.

If you’re new to the art of making gourmet drinks, then try a few of these tips the next time you make a martini or stir an on-the-rocks cocktail…

Raspberry and Lemon Martini

Raspberry and Lemon Martini

How to Garnish a Cocktail

  • Think about the type of glass you’ll be serving the drink in. Your garnish should make sense with the physical shape and design of the glass. A martini glass, for example, probably shouldn’t have a garnish that’s too long due to the wide mouth and shallow nature of the glass. By the same logic, if serving a drink in a Tom Collins glass, you definitely don’t want a garnish that’s too wide. Work with the glass’s proportions – not against them – when you make gourmet drinks.
  • Secondly, consider the gestalt of the drink. That is to say, what kind of mood does the cocktail invoke? Don’t just look at its individual parts. Rather, pay attention to its overall theme, taking taste and visual appearance into consideration. There’s no reason why a cocktail made of vodka and four different kinds of fruit should have a fruit garnish. There’s no reason why a maraschino cherry and orange slice must garnish your Old Fashioned-inspired drink.
  • Thirdly, eschew the stereotypes. Yes, martinis traditionally have olives impaled on toothpicks floating in the glass. That’s no reason for why your brand new creative martini recipe should contain toothpicks and olives. Why not try spicy pickles or something similar instead?
  • Lastly, when garnishing a cocktail, be sure that your garnishes have structural integrity. “Structural integrity” might sound like a peculiar phrase to use when talking about mixology, but it’s a very important part of the broader experience. After all, a limp or precariously balanced garnish can greatly detract from the pleasure of an otherwise delightful beverage. Instead of enjoying their cocktails, your poor subjects will find themselves hopelessly and listlessly fiddling with an unstable drink umbrella mounted in a flaccid wedge of pineapple.

Why not pick up the Amoretti Martini Cocktail Mix Variety Pack and start shaking and garnishing new creations this week?

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