Step Up Your Cocktails Game - Garnishes!
Just when you thought all there is to making cocktails is knowing what to put together in a blender or a shaker, the cocktail game just isn’t complete without a garnish. Your glass of cocktail will simply seem like a beautiful ball gown or party dress without accessories. So, let’s get accessorising, shall we?
Here are some simple tips on how to garnish your cocktails.
1. SALT (OR SUGAR) THE RIM
Some of the best-loved and delicious recipes in the world of cocktail call for salted rim glasses. The first step to becoming a pro mixologist of delectable Margaritas and irresistible Salty Dogs is knowing a simple trick to rim your glasses with salt.
First, thinly spread salt on a tray or any flat surface. Next, take a slice of lemon and run it around the rim of your glass. Lastly, turn your glass upside down and press against the salt.
As for sugar, you can use a sugar-salt mixture for your margaritas. Other than that, some cocktails, like the Lemon Drop Martini, Sidecar Cocktail, and Apple Ciders Mimosas, call for a sugar rim. To make sure the sugar stays on the rim, simply use the same technique for rimming a glass with salt.
2. Herbs Herbs Herbs
Simply said, a cocktail bar can’t be complete without herbs. At home, you can even make that as a nice excuse to grow fresh herbs on small pots so you can enjoy your herbs fresh all the time.
For one, gin cocktails can take on a very botanical character. So, the best way to showcase these drinks is by garnishing with sprigs and leaves of herbs. That powerful aroma and equally spell-binding flavour herbs bring to the palate are oftentimes what sets apart a bar’s simple G&T compared to others, even when the same recipes and techniques are followed down to the tee. Therefore, the freshest herbs can make a ton of difference.
3. Get Carving
In the likely event that you haven’t done this before, one of the best places to start learning and quickly making carved garnishings a part of your cocktails is by trying lemon, lime, and orange peels. It goes without saying, you have to have some basic tools to design stunning carved garnishes.
For starters, make sure you get a quality paring knife and a spiral slicer. You’ll see the difference in your show glass just making the most out of these two tools. Slowly work in more tools later.
What garnishes go with what drinks?
One simple rule of thumb is to use a garnish that either contrasts or is consistent with the overall palate of your cocktail. It goes to say that, sometimes, going against the flavour is better but, sometimes, a contrasting garnish will bring out the taste better. Anyhow, sometimes a garnish is intended to be eaten but, sometimes, it’s only meant to make a glass appear more Instagram-ready.
Another way to know what to garnish your cocktail with is by going with the name. If it’s pina colada, for example, garnishing with a slice of pineapple is a good idea to bring out the tropical vibe. In the same way, a creamy strawberry martini will look better with three or four strawberries on a stick.
What is the most common garnish?
That will have to be a close battle between mint sprigs and lime wedges. The reason isn’t so hard to understand -- both garnishes are easy and pretty much straightforward. In other words, special skills are not required.
Moreover, these ingredients do not require any fancy skills or grand cocktail garnishes ideas to achieve. The striking taste of mint and lime also creates a perfect complement to gin which happens to be the most popular spirit in the UK.
What is the most popular cocktail in the UK?
Based on a report by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, gin enjoyed the highest volume of sales in 2019. Among bottled cocktails, the herbal bitter liqueurs enjoyed the biggest jump in sales, whereas non-cream liqueur cocktails, many of which also qualify as easy not too sweet cocktails, continue to clock in the highest figures since 2018.