To follow is a list of different garnish types. Always use fresh, washed fruit. Fruit is not only a decoration, but will also affect the taste of the cocktail.
Lemons and oranges give more juice if you first soak them in warm water. Fruit should be covered with a damp napkin and refrigerated if left overnight. Generally, fruit that is cut will not last longer than a day or so. Unattractive garnish will reflect on the quality of your drinks and should look good as well as taste good.
Prep: Use a melon baller to scoop small spheres of fruit.
Use: Vegetables, candy, nuts, dried fruit, cherries and berries.
Prep: In clear or translucent cocktails served straight up, a garnish is dropped in the glass and should sink to the bottom. When served with drink on the rocks or frozen, add garnish after drink is blended either on the bottom as a hidden treasure or on top as a decoration.
Use: Any fruit or vegetable combined with any spirit.
Prep: Fill a sealable container with fruit or vegetable combination. Cover with alcohol of choice. Allow to soak at room temperature or in freezer.
Use: Flowers, milk, liquor.
Prep: Flowers should be plucked where the flower meets the stem and dropped gently onto the cocktail. Milk or cream is often lightly whipped and poured over the base of a spoon onto the cocktail. Frothed milk will float on its own but should be spooned from the pitcher. When floating spirits, use a bar spoon bottom side up and touching the side of the inside of the glass. Gently pour liquor over spoon so it flows from the spoon down the glass over the cocktail.
Use: Coconut, chocolate, ginger.
Prep: Use a fine grater and grate over cocktail glass.
Use: Small vegetables, maraschino cherries or berries.
Prep: Skewer on toothpick, stirrer or swizzle.
Prep: When layering spirits, use a bar spoon bottom-side up and touching the inside of the glass. Gently pour liquor over spoon so it flows from the spoon down the side of the glass into a layer. Allow it to sit a moment before adding the next layer. Some find it helpful to use a pourer spout in the bottle to allow for better control of flow.
Use: Citrus or orchard fruit.
Prep: With sharp paring knife or small cookie cutter, shape peel. If peel needs to be flattened soak in ice water then dip in boiling water and smooth on counter top with heavy flat object.
Use: Chocolate powder, herbs and spices, shredded coconut.
Prep: Prepare a small plate with desired spice. With fruit wedge, dampen the rim of the serving glass. Gently touch glass rim into spice. Add cocktail mixture to glass. To garnish with shredded coconut or chocolate, prepare as described above but dampen glass rim with honey, icing or heavy sugar syrup.
Use: Orchard fruits, melons, tropical fruits and berries.
Use: Citrus fruit.
Prep: Cut fruit in half long ways. Then slice long strips no wider than 1/4 inch or 1/4 cm. Soak in ice water. Method one: wrap tightly around straw and freeze. This is similar to using curlers on hair. Method two: dip strips one at a time in boiling water then return immediately to ice water. They should naturally curl up.
Use: Citrus fruit.
Prep: A squeeze is performed by tightly gripping the wedge allowing the fruit juices to escape into the cocktail. It is appropriate to then rub the rim of the glass with the fruit before disposal.
Use: Citrus fruit or mint.
Prep: Slice the fruit and remove pulp so only the outer layer remains. Use within 12 hours. See Spiral for shaping techniques.
Use: Citrus fruit, orchard fruit or pineapple.
Prep: For orchard fruit cut in half top to bottom three or more times. For citrus and orchard fruit, cut across the middle from top to bottom of the fruit. Then place flat end down and slice top to bottom. For pineapple, cut a 1/4 to 1/2 inch slice across the middle. Lay flat and cut into six pieces. Please note that orchard fruit will brown quickly. To delay this add lemon or lime juice to ice water or squeeze citrus juice onto fruit.
Use: Citrus fruit, star fruit or kiwi.
Prep: Slice along the width of fruit no more than 1/4 inch or 1/2 cm thick. Method one: twist and skewer with toothpick. Method 2: cut one end and slide over rim of glass.