Garnishes are very important for your mixed drinks. They make your drink look more presentable and they also add more flavor.
Note: Make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water only.
Attention: I give suggestions on when to use some cocktail garnishes, but sometimes the rules don't apply to all the mixed drinks.
Main Cocktail Garnishes
There are six main cocktail garnishes. They are Maraschino cherries, stuffed olives, limes wedges, lemons wedges, orange slices and whipped cream. Every bar should have at least these garnishes.
Maraschino Cherries are used for many mixed drinks and for non-alcoholic drinks. You can buy them at the store. They come in a jar ready to use. Make sure you refrigerate after opening.
When to Use: Any time you use grenadine, in some green drinks like Sour Apple Martini and Midori Sour, any time you use Collins Mix, in some mixed drinks that you use Sweet and Sour Mix and in Manhattans.
There are many different olives in the market today. Some olives come plain and some come stuffed with pepper or other ingredients. They come in a jar ready to use. Make sure you refrigerate after opening.
Wedges: A wedge is 1/8 of a lime, lemon or orange. In other words, there are 8 wedges in a lime, lemon or orange.
Lime Wedges: Cut off the ends of the lime. Then cut the lime in half from one end to the other. Finally, cut each half into four equal wedges.
Lime Wheels: Cut off the ends of the lime. Then cut slices from one end to the other. Use your judgment on how thick the slices should be. Finally, make one cut from the center of the lime wheel to the edge so it can sit on the glass.
When to Use: Any time you make a drink with lemon-lime soda, tonic water and some times soda water, in drinks that contain lime juice like Cosmopolitan, and in some drinks that contain sweet and sour mix like Margaritas.
Lemon Wedges: Use the same technique as the lime wedges.
Lemon Twist: Cut off the ends of the lemon. Then cut the rind from one end to the other making 1/3 inch strips (Make sure that you don't cut into the meat of the lemon). Finally, peel off the strips.
Orange Wedges: Use the same technique as the lime wedges.
Orange Spiral: Use a citrus stripper to make your orange spirals. Start at one end of the orange and cut around and down towards the other end making a long spiral peel.
When to Use: Oranges are used any time you use collins mix. There are also used in drinks that contain orange. The orange spirals are used in drinks like coolers.
You can buy a can of whipped cream at the store. There are some manufacturers that make chocolate whipped cream and fat free whipped cream.
Main Use: Whipped cream is used for many hot drinks specially coffee drinks. It is also used with some frozen drinks like a Strawberry Daiquiri or a Mudslide. Another drink that you use whipped cream is a Blow Job shot.
Other Cocktail Garnishes
Apple Slices: Cut an apple in half. Then, cut each half into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Make a diagonal cut to the apple slice so it can be placed in a martini glass. Cut the apple slices right before serving the drinks.
Main Use: Apple Martinis
Banana Slices: Cut through the peel from the middle of the banana. Make banana slices about 1/4 inch thick.
When to Use: It could be used in many drinks that contain banana liqueur.
It could be raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or other berries. Insert a cocktail stick into the berries and place it on top of the drink.
Candy is a great garnish. There is a wide variety of candy that can be used as garnish.
Examples: Candy canes, gummy worms or bears, mini candy bars, gum, etc.
Wash the celery with water only and cut the leaves and the base to make celery sticks.
A piece of chocolate or shaved chocolate may be used for garish.
Shaved Chocolate: Buy a block of chocolate and use a cheese grater to shave it.
The only time that you are going to need coffee beans is when you are serving Sambuca. Just drop three coffee beans into the Sambuca. The three coffee beans represent: Health, Wealth and Happiness.
Wash the mint leaves with water only.
Onions (Cocktail Onion)
Cocktail onions are very small onions (about the size of a marble). You can buy them at the store. They come in a jar ready to use. Make sure you refrigerate after opening.
Pineapple Wedges: Cut the top and bottom of the pineapple. Then cut the pineapple in half from one end to the other. Cut one half in half from one end to the other. Remove the core section of the pineapple. Finally, cut wedges.
Main Use: Pineapple is used in many tropical mixed drinks.
Kosher salt is used to coat the rim of a glass. Moist the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Then dip it into the salt.