The best cocktail garnish ideas for summer
Spruce up your summer cocktails with fresh and tasty garnishes that won’t break the bank but will liven the party!
Cocktails or mocktails are a key component to a summer of fun. There’s nothing better than soaking up the sun rays surrounded by friends and family, whilst sipping on a delicious fruity drink! But if you’re looking for ways to elevate your cocktail and make them look pretty, why not try adding a garnish?
Here are 15 of our favourite purse-friendly garnishes, perfect for a variety of drinks.
Dried orange slices
Dehydrated orange slices look fancy but are super simple to make yourself at home. All you have to do is thinly slice a fresh orange, lay out the slices on a baking tray, and pop in the oven for around an hour. You can then use them to dress a mimosa, or add to a delicious jug of sangria. The best part is, dried orange slices last for up to two years so you’ll always have a go-to garnish.
Twisted lime peel
Citrus twists are easy to make and add a bit of flair to almost any summer cocktail. Take a lime, lemon, or orange (depending on the most dominant flavour in your drink), slice a ring from it, then remove the pulp using a sharp knife. Once you’ve separated the pulp from the peel, use your hands to twist the peel into a curly shape. Hang over the side of a cocktail glass for a visually appealing, aromatic finish.
Decorative ice cubes
Make your summer beverages beautiful and stay cool with decorative ice cubes. Not only are these DIY ice cubes cheap and cheerful, they’re also a great way to pack an extra punch. As they melt, the fruity flavours will infuse into your cocktail or mocktail.
If you’re going for the tropical vibes, mango cubes could be the ultimate garnish. Easy to prep, simply cut a mango into cubes and thread onto a cocktail pick, then add to your drink of choice.
From mint to rosemary to lavender, there’s a complementary herb for every palate. Adding a sprig to a cocktail infuses the drink with extra flavour, so if you want to enhance a G&T or impress your guests with a non-alcoholic mojito, opt for a fresh herb garnish.
Serving up a sharing jug of Pimm’s for your guests? Garnish each glass with a cucumber ribbon to perfectly pair with the refreshing flavours of orange, strawberry, and of course, the Pimm’s itself. Cucumber ribbons require minimal effort and can be crafted in minutes using a vegetable peeler.
Top tip: cucumber ribbons also work well with many gin cocktails!
If you’re feeling fruity, a cocktail like this raspberry peach gin fizz is well complemented with a berry skewer garnish. Thread some berries onto a cocktail pick and lay over the top of the glass, or submerge in the drink, for a quick and easy finish.
Salt, sugar, or nut rim
What’s a margarita without a salt rim? This garnish makes your cocktails look fancy, and the salt helps to counteract the bitterness of tequila. Alternatively, you can opt for a sugar, nut or candy rim - whatever best works with your drink of choice!
Lemon disks make for a simple but effective cocktail garnish. Much like the dehydrated orange slices, lemon disks offer a similar touch but their freshness and tang means they work great in classic cocktails like a Singapore sling.
Your guests will be wowed by this playful garnish - sticky and sweet candy floss adds a melt in the mouth aspect to your cocktails. You can even go a step further by adding more sweet treats like candy necklaces or fizzy belts. This garnish is great for kid-friendly mocktails!
A tropical tiki cocktail like a Mai Tai wouldn’t be complete without a juicy wedge of pineapple. Why not cut a large pineapple into wedges then stick in the freezer to last all summer? You’ll never be without a fruity garnish again!
As the name suggests, this is a staple garnish for the melon ball cocktail! Melon liqueur, vodka, and orange juice come together to create this simple cocktail, finished off with freshly scooped melon balls.
Want to go above and beyond a regular fruit garnish? Passionfruit can take your cocktails, including the classic pornstar martini, to the next level. Add one half to the top of the cocktail for a floaty finish, and squeeze the other into the drink for a bit of texture.
We kept this a secret earlier, but coconut chips work great as a cocktail glass rim! Alternatively, one of our favourites is the unique coconut pie cocktail, which uses coconut rum, coffee liqueur and whipped cream, topped off with a sprinkling of coconut chips.
And of course, not all garnishes need to be edible! A cocktail umbrella goes a long way and adds some flair to your drinks. Again, these are great for kid-friendly drinks or any tropical summer cocktail.
Always drink responsibly. To find out more, visit Drinkaware.