The Art of Cocktail Garnishes

You may just see garnishes as decorative but there is a science to the cocktail garnishes that adorn your glass. And we aren’t talking about inedible garnishes or parasols in your coconut drinks. We are making an ode to the maraschino cherries, lemon slices and other fruits (and veggies!) that make your cocktail all the tastier. Yes, cocktail garnishes are supposed to look beautiful but it there is so much more to it… so, you might be wondering, what is the deal with cocktail garnishes?

The Start of Garnishing

We aren’t sure who first had the brilliant idea of putting food with alcohol but we do know one of the first references. That is Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bartender’s Guide, where fruit garnishes appear but because of how it is stated, as common knowledge, we are left to assume it came even before that.

Garnishing is traditionally the final step in finishing a classic cocktail. It can be adding a bit of citrus peel, fruit wedge, maraschino cherry, or an olive. Garnishing is meant to enhance the beverage’s appearance and to add subtle flavor. With the advent of new drinks and alcohol flavors, garnishing has grown too.

Modern (Cocktail) Art

The Art of Cocktail GarnishesToday’s modern mixologists still believe the cocktail is an artform and continue to create new flavor sensations. They are schooled not only in traditional mixology but gastronomy as well. Their day not only starts behind the bar but in the kitchen creating delicately infused syrups featuring exotic fruits, herbs, spices, even flowers. Once the libation is mixed using precise ratios of flavors and liquors, the garnish is gently added to finish the drink. The result is a creation that is almost too pretty to drink, almost.


A new trend in garnishes is going over the top. We mean adding a meal to your drink. This is solely reserved fro the Sunday Brunch favorite, Bloody Marys. Bloody Marys can be filled with the likes of bacon, jalapenos, shrimp, gold fish, and even pork rinds. Some are even serving skewers of grilled meat across scotch based beverages.

Thirsty Now?

So, how do you like your cocktail? Served straight and neat, or with cocktail garnishes that double as a snack? However, you decide to imbibe Harry Browne’s is always serving delicious libations to satisfy whatever you are craving. Why not stop into our lounge, and enjoy one today. Cheers!




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