Presentation of cocktails is important, a cocktail is so much more than the drink. The visual appearance is powerful. A drink that looks beautiful is instantly more appealing to the brain. The garnish isn’t just there to look pretty though.
A carefully chosen garnish also stimulates our other senses . Our sense of smell is awakened as the glass is pulled towards the face and the brain anticipates the flavour that is to follow.
Whilst some garnishes are chosen purely for their visual impact others are selected to complement and enhance flavours or tie them together. These can typically be split into fruit, leaves and flowers.
Fruit garnishes add a subtle fruit flavour and scent and often give a hint to the flavours in the glass. A citrus wedge or slice will add both juice and citrus oils. A twist is used for the addition of the oil from the peel which is released as the skin is broken. Citrus oils are often used to offset the sweetness of some ingredients and create a more balanced drink.
Leaves can be used both for visual stimulation and to add flavour. Herbs are a popular choice in many drinks and bright, healthy, fresh leaves make an appealing garnish.
Flowers can be garnishes too, ideally only edible ones should be used but many people opt not to eat them either way. Lavender and violets are popular choices but flowers can be sweet or even spicy depending on the variety picked.
Some cocktails will have small snacks attached to the side as a garnish which is intended to be eaten, biscuits, sweets and even pieces of toast are all options on various menus.
Feeling thirsty? Check out Mambo’s drinks and start planning your menu.
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