Decorative Garnish for Cocktails

Updated: Feb 21

Different garnish you can use on your cocktails to add extra flair to your cocktail presentation and add a kick of flavor!

Table Of Contents

  1. Fresh Herbs & Leaves

  2. Glass Rimming

  3. Skewers

  4. Dehydrated Fruits

  5. Coin Twist

  6. Citrus Boat

  7. Cucumber Ribbons

  8. Fruit Balls

  9. Whipped Cream

  10. Iced Fruits Herbs and Flowers

  11. Chocolate Shavings

  12. Edible Flowers

  13. Inedible Garnish


Fresh Herbs and Leaves

Fresh herbs make for an easy garnish; they're elegant and give the cocktail a bouquet of scent. Some Examples are:


Pineapple frond





Glass Rimming

Adding a rim not only adds a visual appeal to a cocktail, but it serves as an additional layer of flavor, be it salt, sweet, or spicy. Rim styles include salt, sugar, sprinkles, tajin, chili powder, or melted chocolate, among other options.


  • To prepare rim, rub the rim of the glass with a citrus wedge. If a stronger adhesive is required, use a small amount of honey or agave by dipping the rim into the honey on a saucer.

  • With the desired rim garnish on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the rim garnish to coat.

  • Carefully strain the cocktail into the prepared glass, careful not to touch the rim prior to serving.



There are many options when making skewered garnishes. Generally fruits and berries are skewered together along with herbs to add to the presentation of a drink. Examples include:


Cocktail Onions

Luxardo Cherries





Dehydrated Fruits

Using dehydrated fruits can save time and money. Contrary to fresh ingredients that you will prepare along with the cocktail, dried fruits are already sliced and ready to be garnished.

Especially when making multiple servings, having available dehydrated fruits to garnish your drinks can shorten the preparation time significantly.

Additionally, fresh garnishes like citrus wheels go bad quickly. Sometimes, it can't be helped when a few pieces and slices go to waste. Unlike fresh fruits, dehydrated ones have a longer shelf life when stored properly.

This way, wasted ingredients can be prevented.

You can dehydrate almost any fruit, but the most common fruits dried for cocktail garnishes are lemons, oranges, pineapples, limes, mangoes, and berries. The striking appearance of dehydrated fruits provides a look of sophistication to any cocktail


Coin Twist

The coin twist is a simple cocktail garnish that gives your drink a distinguished look. It is also very easy to make. It's basically a coin-shaped piece of the peel of a fruit, such as oranges and grapefruits.

Coin twist garnishes work essentially like a citrus twist. Aside from visual purposes, its primary goal is to release the oils from the peel into the cocktail.


Citrus Boat

You may easily make a citrus boat with just a slice of citrus fruit. The skewer will lie on top of the glass rim, and it's a great way to dress up a variety of cocktails.

It's easy to make, and it adds a cherry on top of the garnish for a splash of color. Traditionally, it’s made with orange slices, but it also works with lemons and limes


Cucumber Ribbons

Cucumber is a refreshing and straightforward garnish for cocktails. Cucumbers can be carved into a variety of shapes due to their overall firmness. For cocktails, cucumber ribbons are the most common kind.

A cucumber ribbon is a beautiful and stylish way to utilize fresh cucumber as a garnish. This simple garnish can be made in various ways - wrapped inside a glass, twisted up into a tight spiral, or curled like an accordion and skewered on a cocktail pick.

Cucumber ribbons go well with the famous gin & tonic cocktail and mostly any cocktail that involves cucumbers.


Fruit Balls

It is a pretty straightforward garnish idea in which scooped balls of fruits are garnished on the glass of the drink. The ball can be perched on the rim of the glass by cutting a small slit. You can also incorporate it into another garnish like flags, boats, or skewers.

If you're going for a simple approach, place the fruit ball on the glass and let it submerge on the cocktail. You can experiment and try out different ways of using this garnish.

Common choices of fruits for this idea are melons, dragon fruits, mangoes, and watermelons.


Whipped Cream

Top your drinks with whipped cream for a decadent dessert. This delectable garnish is best paired with dessert cocktails and frozen beverages that use liqueur as a base spirit.

Ice cream drinks like pink squirrels and grasshoppers and hot cocktail recipes like Irish coffee or spiked cocoa would go exceptionally well with this.


Iced Fruits, Herbs & Flowers

Another excellent method to add flair to your cocktail is to freeze fruits, flowers, or fresh herbs in ice. Because you'll be using ice anyhow, just add them to any cocktails served on the rocks.

With this, you can even use them to chill your cocktails. They'll offer a gorgeous splash of color to your glass, and when the ice melts, it'll release a bit of flavor.

You can also opt to freeze the fruits and skip the ice directly. This way, the drink will be less diluted because there is no ice to water down.


Chocolate Shavings

Dessert cocktails like a chocolate martini or a brandy alexander benefit from the addition of chocolate shavings.

To make curls, just scrape the blades of a vegetable peeler lengthwise across a chocolate block or bar. You may also use a grater to shave fine chocolate shavings over a drink.


Edible Flowers

Both intriguing and elegant, edible flowers as cocktail garnishes provide a fabulous flush of colors to the glass. It is not just pretty, but it has shown that flowers delight our senses in many ways. This will surely add to the overall wonderful experience of the cocktail.

However, it is essential to remember that not all flowers are appropriate as a cocktail garnish. Not all flowers are safe to eat.

Additionally, do not be easily deceived just because there are pictures of it online. We recommend being careful and wary. Do your research, and determine which ones are safe to consume.

Some good choices of edible flowers are roses, nasturtiums, lavender, violas, and orchids.


Inedible Garnish

Not every garnish is meant to be consumed and eaten. Some only serve ornamental purposes. They are only placed into the cocktail to make it look good and exciting. It also adds to the overall drinking experience as our eyes are delighted with the garnishes of the cocktail.

Typical garnish objects include cocktail umbrellas, sparklers, playing cards, straws, mini bottles, swizzle sticks, and feathers.



There are many ways to decorate and present cocktails with the perfect garnish. When serving your guests, presenting a delicious tasting cocktail is the number 1 priority. But there is no better way to get the mouth salivating by dressing it up and unlocking flavors with fresh herbs, fruit or edible flowers, to have your guests raving and snapping pics of the drinks you prepped for them. Hopefully you gained useful insight from reading about the different decorative garnishes when preparing cocktails. Let us know the garnish techniques you have tried and send us pictures to for us to feature on our instagram page and dont forget to leave your handle in the email. Thanks for reading!

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All