The Cocktail Garnish: Keys to Understanding What It’s All About

If you work in cocktail service, you’re probably already familiar with the idea of adding decorative elements that provide an extra touch of flavor to your drinks. Cocktail garnishes go one step further than purely aesthetic elements, adding elegance, style, and enhancing the flavor of the final product. In this article, we’ll explain the keys to understanding what garnish is in cocktail making and how you can use it to improve your drinks.

What is garnish in cocktail making?

The term garnish refers to decorative elements added to a cocktail in order to improve its flavor and appearance. These elements not only add a touch of elegance and style to the drink, but also complement its flavor and give the consumer a complete experience.

bartender garnishing with lime

Garnish is distinguished from purely decorative elements because it must meet the following requirements:


  • Be edible.
  • Be a secondary complement to the cocktail, not the main attraction. It should not cover or invade, the key is balance.
  • Be in a comfortable position so that it does not obstruct and the customer can enjoy the drink.
  • Have a harmony of colors and flavors with the drink being prepared.

Examples of garnishes include spices, fruits in different presentations, salts, stems, fruit peels, mint, and olives.

On the other hand, decoration may include elements such as swizzle sticks, umbrellas, flags, coasters, and containers.

What are the latest trends in garnish?

One trend that has gained ground in recent times is dried fruit, which adds flavor and color to cocktails. The drying of fruits and vegetables is a very old technique used to preserve food by removing its water content. This makes dried fruit have a much longer shelf life than fresh fruit and also prevents the waste of fresh ingredients that spoil quickly, such as citrus.

In addition to dried fruit, Té Tónic offers the possibility of adding flowers to your cocktails such as:

  • Hindu rose petals,
  • Jasmine flower,
  • Hibiscus flower,
  • Mallow flower
  • Orange blossom flower,
  • Persian roses.

Any cocktail will look elegant and sophisticated if you add one of these elements to its creation, don’t you think?

bartender garnishing cocktail with citrus slice
old fashioned cocktail

What is the importance of garnish in cocktail making?

In addition to being a key element in cocktail making, garnish is also an art that every bartender must master. It’s important to have a wide knowledge of different options for incorporating and knowing how to use them to improve the consumer’s experience. This can include the presentation of fresh or dried fruit, spices, herbs, and other elements that are carefully chosen to complement the flavors of the cocktail.

At Té Tonic, we have a wide selection of botanicals, spices, and infusions that will enhance the cocktail experience, transforming a gin or any other drink into something simply superior. Our extensive experience in the industry allows us to identify and select the ingredients that perfectly match your favorite combination. This way, you can be sure to only acquire botanicals and spices of the highest quality and with the greatest guarantee.


In summary, the garnish is an essential element in mixology that not only adds elegance and style to a drink, but also improves its flavor and complements the consumer’s experience. Its use also extends to non-alcoholic drinks. 

Dried fruits, spices, salts, and infusions are an increasingly popular and versatile option to use as a garnish and save time and money when preparing cocktails. Being creative and knowledgeable about different garnish options is essential for a professional bartender and is key to transforming a glass into a signature drink.

bartender garnished cocktail


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