Are there any special techniques for garnishing cocktails and mixed drinks?

There are a lot of options for making side dishes on skewers. It's a typical image of many cocktails, from olives in a martini to red fruits in season. See what other Food52 readers are saying. Fresh herbs, such as mint, rosemary and thyme, bring flavor and visual interest to a cocktail.

Tap the fresh herb garnish against your hand before adding it to the cocktail. This will release essential oils and add an additional scent to the drink. In many ways, creating a cocktail has become very rewarding for me, and the more I've experienced and explored the rich history of cocktails, the more I understand what an art form really is, a well-crafted drink. The garnish is the finishing touch, intended to accentuate the flavors of the drink, unite them, contrast or complement them perfectly.

And it's precisely because it provides a complete sensory experience, so drinking a cocktail can be an incredibly pleasant thing. I keep pancakes separate from other fruit garnishes because their purpose is specifically to add citrus peel oils to the drink, rather than simply adding aroma or visual appeal. Cucumber ribbons go well with the famous Gin %26 tonic cocktail and especially with any cocktail that contains cucumbers. When onion is pickled, it usually maintains a slightly crunchy texture, giving the cocktail a unique mouthfeel.

Ice cream, such as pink squirrels and grasshoppers, and hot cocktail recipes, such as Irish coffee or spiked cacao, would go exceptionally well with this. The addition of mint adds a fresh freshness that makes many, many cocktails taste even better, but a good example is the classic Mai Tai (2 ounces of aged rum). In a bar setting, it makes sense to keep things mostly practical, but as a home mixologist, I can experiment endlessly. If you've ever prepared or been served a truly memorable cocktail that stuck with you, that's what I'm talking about here.

It's a classic garnish for a margarita, but it's pretty easy to add sparkle to all kinds of drinks. Before placing the fresh herb garnish in the cocktail, apply it to your hand to release vital oils and provide a more excellent aroma to the drink. I love creating food and drink combinations, so this garnish category is one that I've explored time and time again. At first glance, it might not seem like much, but the way a cocktail is presented to us is a fundamental component of the drinking experience.

Zachary Matias
Zachary Matias

Award-winning zombie fan. Extreme travel specialist. Certified pop culture scholar. Tv buff. Wannabe music scholar. Extreme twitteraholic.

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