We admit at being guilty of being a little obsessed with how good our cocktails look so that we can post them on social media… we’re only human. But it’s not just about creating that Instagram worthy cocktail for us! And it shouldn’t be for you too! Garnishes add more than just aesthetic appeal but tie the whole cocktail together. They add flavour! They add pizzazz!
Here are 6 easy ways to glam up your cocktail, whether you’ve whisked it up yourself or poured it from a pouch, these hacks add both style and flavour!
Decorate the Rim of Your Glass
It’s easy but effective. First of all, a frosted glass looks pretty nifty and second of all, whatever you frost the glass with adds flavour. Use water or egg white to wet the rim of the glass. It’s easiest to dip it in the moisture, then dip the glass turned upside down into your frosting of choice. I’m sure we don’t need to tell you to do this before you add the liquid element of your cocktail, but we’re going to mention it anyway just to be sure 😉
Frosting ideas? The obvious choice is sugar, bound to work flavour-wise with the majority of cocktails. You can make it more interesting by using coloured sugars as well. These can be pre-bought or made by mixing sugar with the tiniest amount of food colouring.
Salt can be used too! Salt is especially great for tequila-based cocktails like the Margarita, Paloma or savoury cocktails like a Bloody Mary.
If you’re feeling really extra you could go to town with whatever you find in the baking section. Pretty much anything you’re comfortable decorating a cake with you can use on glass. Sprinkles, edible glitters, chocolate powder and more.
For the adventurous, you could try sherbert or popping candy. However, with great power comes great responsibility and choose wisely.
Skewer it Up!
A very fun way to ramp up the aesthetic is by skewering a tasty morsel to then sit above the main event. This makes your garnish more of a side dish than part of the cocktail, but sometimes that’s preferable. You can use fruit for fruity cocktails – but there is plenty of scope to experiment with other ingredients depending on the beverage of choice. Marshmallows could be good and tomatoes, cheese, and chorizo compliment a Bloody Mary very well. A Dirty Martini is famously accompanied with a skewer of olives and a Gibson with pearl onions.
Get Fruity With It
Fruit, especially citrus fruit, is a popular cocktail garnish. As most cocktails use a fruit flavour as the base, a slice or a peel from the real thing can’t do any harm. There are several ways to tackle the decoration element…
To make a citrus spiral, use a sharp knife to carve a thin piece from the peel. Some can just carve a spiralled piece straight from the fruit but if that’s not you, roll it using your fingers or a straw. Plop it directly into the drink, and voila! As pretty as can be.
If this is a bit fancy, you could just add very thin slices of citrus. Perhaps less elegant, but also a nice way to garnish a drink is by adding a fruit wedge on the edge of the glass.
Add Some Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs can add a lot of flavour to a cocktail and also look great. Rosemary, thyme and mint are popular herbs to add. It’s worth looking up to see what works best with the flavours already in the drink. Make sure you remember to activate your herbs before using them as a garnish. Handling them roughly will release essential oils and the aroma of the herb.
Use Edible Flowers to Glam Up Your Cocktail
For the ultimate Instagram worthy cocktail use edible flowers. They make anything look good and floral flavours can work very well with some cocktails. You might be thinking, okay, that’s a nice idea but which flowers are edible and where on earth do I get them?
Marigolds, pansies, carnations, cornflower, fuchsias, hibiscus, violets, roses, and lavender are some easily attainable flowers that can be eaten in moderation.
Substitute Regular Ice Cubes for Something More Adventurous
The effect is subtle but can be very cool (pun intended). You could use food colouring to make coloured ice cubes, freeze fruit juice, or just use frozen fruit in your cocktail instead of ice.
Another cool trick is freezing edible flowers and herbs into the water to add flavour and a little something-something to look at.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to affect the cocktails flavour balance you could glam up your cocktail by getting a different ice mould that produces some more interesting shapes than just cubes.