Cocktails and company

Cocktails and the importance of “garnishing”

Garnishing, in other words, everything we use to make the presentation of a drink look nice, has an importance that should not be underestimated, because it can lend our cocktails an extra edge and a truly professional touch.

How does the Italian saying go? Ah, yes: “si mangia prima con gli occhi”, you eat with your eyes first. The same certainly applies to cocktails.

A well-presented drink, in an attractive colour, served in a nice glass and with a nice garnish will surely tempt you to taste it. This is also thanks to the garnishes we create to decorate our cocktails.

The origin of this custom, which is not just a garnish but, as we shall see, serves a precise function, is not recent. As early as the 19th century, with the birth of cocktails, citrus peels, olives, and cherries were used to enrich the look and taste of drinks.

But when we talk about decorations, we need to make a few clarifications:

  • there are the ‘complementary’ decorations, that is, those garnishes that release perfume and aroma and serve to enhance and complete the taste of our cocktail. This is the case, for example, with citrus peels with their essential oils and very intense aromatic herbs like mint or Martini olive.  In general, it can be said that everything placed inside the glass is, to all intents and purposes, an ingredient of the drink.
  • then there are the ‘ornamental’ decorations which only have an aesthetic function. They are usually placed on the rim of the glass or on toothpicks, but do not make a significant difference to the drink.  However, it is important to emphasise that even these decorations must be designed logically and consistently to recall the ingredients used in the drink, as if they were a small calling card of what we are going to taste.

With the creativity of modern bartenders, garnishes have evolved. Unusual garnishes like diced cold cuts for savoury cocktails or sweets for sweet drinks are available. There is no limit to creativity, as long as it matches the cocktail we are serving!

Lastly, remember that garnishes are not compulsory: if you are using important and particularly scenic glasses it is a good idea to opt for an essential presentation to avoid overdoing it

Watch the videos with our Christmas garnishes (to create all year round!):

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