When life gives you lemons, make a lemon drop.
Many cocktails call for a garnish, like a citrus twist or maraschino cherries. And it’s not just for looks — a garnish can really make a difference in your cocktail. Think of an old fashioned without an orange peel, or a mojito without mint leaves or lime. It’s just not the same.
Here are some tips to pick the best cocktail garnishes:
- Citrus: Vodka-based cocktails tend to pair well with lemon and lime flavors. Tequila and rum go well with limes. Avoid citrus garnishes for cocktails with milk or cream.
- Cherries: Maraschino Cherries pair well with any cocktail with grenadine. They’re also used with Collins mix, in Manhattans, and in some drinks with Sweet and Sour mix.
- Olives: The quintessential garnish for Martinis. The traditional type of olive used is a green olive, like the Spanish Queen or Green Barouni olive. Do not use olives in a fruity martini.
- Wedges: Citrus wedges are perched on the rim of a glass and can be squeezed and dropped into the drink once served. Wedges are used in Margaritas, Dark and Stormies, Bloody Marys, and more.
- Wheels and Slices: Used to garnish cocktails like the Screwdriver, Pimm’s Cup, and Ramos Gin Fizz. Wheels and slices (half wheels) are a nice decorative (and edible) touch.
- Twists: A twist is a floating garnish consisting of a thin oval of a citrus peel. It adds flavor to the cocktail with the aromatic oils concentrated in the peel. Use a citrus twist in a Cosmopolitan, Lemon Drop, and Long Island Iced Tea.
Photo credit: leyamarini.com