Episode #044: Cocktail Garnishes


Cocktails are not essential.

No, this isn’t some treatise on utilitarianism, but it’s true: we drink cocktails for relaxation, enjoyment, stress relief, etc. They are supposed to be enjoyable. One of our guests once said that we “first drink with our eyes,” and that’s the decorative side of cocktails—they are flamboyant, attractive, and deserve to be shown off. Garnishes are an important part of home bartending, one that’s often overlooked (including by your hosts). Dressing up your drinks is part of the “ritual” of making drinks—the finishing touch to your masterpiece.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • A bit about edible garnishes
  • A bit about inedible garnishes
  • How to garnish your drinks
  • A little about tools needed for garnishes


We buy special tools for making drinks; why wouldn’t we have special tools for enjoying them? A few ideas:

Edible Garnishes:

In the Drink:

  • Mint sprigs or leaves
  • Pepper
  • Rose petals
  • Shrimp
  • Strawberries
  • Celery stalks (with the leaves on)
  • Bacon

§  Of note, Alex does not believe in garnishing with bacon; he is a bacon purist and will only eat bacon for bacon’s sake.

On a Pick:

Slice, Twist, or Wedge:

  • Lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, watermelon


  • Bitters Floats (this does alter the taste, but also looks beautiful)
  • Grated Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg, grated

Garnishes for the rim of the glass

  • Coarse flakes of sale
  • Sugar, granulated or powdered

Inedible Garnishes:

How are your cocktail garnish skills? Show us on instagram by tagging us @speakingeasypodcast and using our hashtag #tobeingabetterdrinker