DIY Cocktail Garnishes to Take Your Drinks to the Next Level

There’s something about a well-crafted drink that just hits the spot. Whether you’re sipping on a classic cocktail or trying out something new, the experience can be made even better with the addition of a creative garnish. And the good news is, you don’t have to be a professional mixologist to take your drinks to the next level with DIY garnishes. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Citrus twists

One of the easiest and most classic garnishes for drinks is a citrus twist. Whether it’s a lemon, lime, or orange, a simple twist of the peel can add both visual appeal and a burst of flavour to your drink. To make a twist, start by cutting a strip of peel from your citrus fruit using a vegetable peeler. Then, gently twist the peel around your finger to create a spiral shape and add it to your drink.  If you can’t make a twist then a simple wedge will give the same effect.

banana daiquiri with a lime twist

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs can be a great way to add complexity and depth to your drinks. A sprig of mint, rosemary, or thyme can bring a new dimension to a simple cocktail by giving it a special aroma and making it visually appealing.   To use herbs as a garnish, simply add a sprig or two to your drink, either as is or lightly muddled to release some of the oils.

beenleigh rum bottles with cocktails

Edible flowers

For a truly eye-catching garnish, consider using edible flowers. From bright purple pansies to delicate violets, there are plenty of flowers that can add a pop of colour and flavour to your drinks. Not all flowers are edible so just be sure to do your research and choose flowers that are safe to eat. Some popular options include nasturtiums, lavender, and chamomile.

23rd street violet gin cocktail on a table next to flowers

Spiced rims

Another way to add flavour and texture to your drinks is with a spiced rim. This is especially popular for margaritas and other rimmed cocktails. To make a spiced rim, simply mix together a blend of spices and sugar (or salt, if you prefer), and spread it out on a plate. Then, run a slice of citrus around the rim of your glass, and dip it into the spice mixture.

cocktail glass with spiced rim with blue background

Dehydrated fruits

Dehydrated fruits are a convenient and cost-effective way to garnish your drinks. When stored properly, they can last much longer than fresh ingredients and since you’ve already sliced them up, there’s less prep time especially when making multiple cocktails.  Nearly any fruits can be dehydrated with an oven, microwave, and food dehydrator, so there’s plenty of options for you to get your DIY dehydration on.

glass of non-alcoholic gin and tonic on a small round table

Fruit kebabs

Finally, for a healthy and refreshing garnish, try using fruit kebabs. This is a great option for drinks like sangria or punch that are served in large pitchers. Simply cut up your favourite fruits (like strawberries, pineapple, and kiwi), and thread them onto a skewer. Then, rest the skewer across the top of the pitcher, so that the fruit hangs down into the drink.

red cocktails on a bar cart with 23rd street mulberry gin bottle

In general, garnishes are a fun and easy way to take your drinks to the next level. From citrus twists to edible flowers, there are plenty of options to choose from. So why not experiment with some DIY garnishes the next time you’re mixing up a cocktail or mocktail? Your taste buds (and Instagram followers) will thank you.

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