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Edible Adornments: How to Prepare Garnishes

There are some things a home bartender should know how to do like a pro (don't worry, we're not talking about bottle juggling), and properly preparing garnishes is a good example. Garnishes add pizzazz to a drink's appearance, enhancing its flavor and aroma. In addition to cocktail napkins, straws and stirrers, you should try to have the following basics at your bar:

  • lime wedges
  • lemon wedges
  • lemon twists
  • orange slices
  • pitted green olives
  • marachino cherries
  • Having the right garnishes lets your guests know you've gone the extra mile. See what our bartender has to say about serving up a finishing touch.

Wedges

Lemon and lime wedges typically hang on the side of a glass, or go into a glass if you're making a Gin & Tonic. 

Twists

Twists give your drink a good look. The oils extracted from the peel also enhance flavor. A vegetable peeler is the best tool for peeling, but a sharp pruning knife works just as well. 

Bitters

Often overlooked, bitters don't actually add bitter flavor to drinks. Instead they bring flavor and balance to your cocktails. Try adding a dash to a Manhattan, Mojito or Cosmopolitan. You can find bitters in larger liquor stores. 

Whipped cream

Typically used in hot cocktails and dessert drinks, the whipped cream you use on cocktails is less dense than the store-bought stuff. 

Wheels

Wheels give a big presence to tropical drinks. 

Tip:
When making garnishes, play around with zesters, graters and any other grinding gadgets you may have in the kitchen