When it comes to cocktailing, never forget the garnish. That final touch completes the look and often adds a flourish of flavor. The best garnishes are both easy to construct—you don’t want your drink to be a diluted, watery mess by the time you finish—and drop dead gorgeous. From tropical, tiki-inspired fruit garnishes, to herbal cocktail stirrers, here are the most impressive, easiest cocktail garnishes to make at home.
Garnishing with mini bottles not only gives your drink some adorable flair, but it also adds a tasty hit of extra alcohol as the contents within the bottle slowly work their way into your drink. We recommend using a pony of Miller High Life for a shandy-rific cocktail or a bottle of Underberg Bitters for a biting topper.
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Step 1: Open your mini bottle of choice.
Step 2: Prepare a cocktail (preferably one with crushed ice) and garnish with three raspberries on a pick (this will help balance the mini bottle).
Step 3: Invert the mini bottle into the drink, balancing it between the lip of the glass and the raspberries
A great way to add tropical panache to your drink, a pineapple flag is a fresh, tiki-inspired update to the traditional flag garnish.
Step 1: Carve a half-wheel of pineapple from a fresh pineapple and cut into wedges, keeping the rind at the base of each triangle.
Step 2: Cut a notch into the point of one of the wedges.
Step 3: Take two pineapple leaves from the pineapple crown and lay them end to end, overlapping so they form a bed for a maraschino cherry. Spear the cherry and the pineapple leaves with an open cocktail umbrella and stick it into the rind of the pineapple wedge. Secure the wedge onto a tiki mug, sliding the rim of the glass into the slit in the fruit, and serve.
Herb and Berry Swizzle Stick
Instead of using plastic swizzle sticks to stab your berries, use fresh, aromatic (and not to mention environmentally friendly) herbs as your spears instead.
Step 1: Take three berries and arrange them in a straight line on a cutting board.
Step 2: Using the sharp, branch end of a rosemary sprig, spear each berry through its center hole and thread the herb through.
Step 3: Rest the finished spear on top of the glass, or place it directly in the cocktail to get those fruity-herbal aromatics all up in that drink.
Orange Peel Flower
Edible flowers are a great garnish for any cocktail—but your drink can do so much better. Take your floral garnish to the next level with an origami-inspired orange peel flower. Pro tip: The smaller the orange, the tighter and more petite your flower will be.
Step 1: Starting from the top of the orange, cut the entire peel of the orange off in one continuous spiral.
Step 2: Fold the peel into itself to create a flower effect.
Step 3: Place a wooden pick through the flower to hold it in place and lay it across the top of a cocktail glass.
This easy-to-construct garnish gives any cocktail a cooling, refreshing elegance.
Step 1: Peel one long section of rind from a cucumber using a Y-peeler or a mandolin. Discard.
Step 2: Following the same path, peel a thin ribbon of flesh from cucumber.
Step 3: Using a long skewer, spear the cucumber strip, alternating each pass through to create a zig-zag effect. Set the skewer in a cocktail (it’s particularly great in a tall Pimm's Cup) or balance it on top of the glass and serve.