1. Home
  2. Journal
  3. A guide to garnishing
By Sophie McComas, ContributorISSUE #005 CHILLED DOWN | Education

A guide to garnishing

When done the right way, the right cocktail garnish can act as a drink’s accent. It’s the difference between some cold gin in a weird glass and something luxurious that transports you. It’s possible to play around with a whole bunch of garnish stuff - but when it comes down to it, there are the classics, and then there are a few left-of-field additions that boost things in the flavour stakes, just find your taste and run with it. Have some doubts? Throw inhibition to the wind and go with what’s in season.

The most classic and easily influenced cocktail to play around with is the Martini, and the only rule of thumb is think about when garnishing it is what edible thing you would like to languish in some gin before popping in your mouth. Garnishes with savoury, umami notes are A) perfect if you haven’t eaten and need sustenance, and B) go really well with gin, especially the salinity of our Horisumi - Winter. So, give firm green olives, cocktail onions, a sprig of saltbush or caperberries a go, with a splash of brine to dirty things up.

Fruity garnishes cleanse the palate, such as slices of pear or our particular preference, the sharp hit of citrus. Instead of lemon, try grapefruit or pomelo (especially when drinking Horisumi - Autumn in a G&T). In the bar we like to go the extra mile with spritzing some pear distillate over the drink right before serving, but a simple slice of crunchy apple or pear makes for a lovely afternoon aperitif - especially during winter when these fruits are at their peak.

Some other ideas: - Strawberries (heck, any berries) - The skin (without the bitter pith) of any citrus - Caperberries - Anchovies - Melon!

Go crazy.