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Merican Mule

Garnish ‘Fit Check: 7 Fun Ways to Dress Up Your Drinks

Explain why cocktail presentation is everything at cocktail bars and restaurants. It is like the reason why we go there with friends – am I right?


So, why do we hold off on decorating our mule mugs or highball glasses at home? Probably because it is an extra step that has to be taken before imbibing.


When you pre-batch cocktails (or pre-order canned cocktails), you are able to prepare exciting garnishes for your home bar. And, we are not talking about lemon peels or cinnamon sticks…


Time is no longer an excuse. Dress up your drinks at your next home get-together with these seven garnish ideas, including – but definitely not limited to – infused-salt rims, edible stir sticks and candied fruit. Your friends will be thoroughly impressed.


  1. Infused Salt

“Spice up” your margaritas by lining the glass rim with a custom-flavored salt. Use a food processor or mortar and pestle to grind coarse salt with complementary herbs or citrus zest.

Squeeze the used citrus [juice] in one plate and spread the infused-salt in a separate one. First, dip the edges of the rim in the juice, then in the salt; shake off the excess, and boom! You have a hip ‘rita to toast with pals.


  1. Herbed Ice Cubes

Freezing garnishes in ice work most effectively in a large spherical ice mold, however, regular ice molds are acceptable, too. Use the herbs or citrus that would typically appear in the cocktail you are serving. For example, iced-over lime wheels in a frosty copper mug for an elevated Moscow Mule.


  1. Edible Stir Sticks

Thread sprigs of needle-like herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, through citrus rounds or spear-able fruits, such as cranberries or raspberries, for a garnish that is both fancy and flavorful. Fresh aromatics will wake your senses with every given sip. Take it a step further and light the tip of the herb with a match; blow it out, and add the charred sprig to the drink for warm pine notes.


  1. Flavored Ice Cubes

Let your ice have triple action! Keep the liquid chilled, appear pretty, and add abundant flavor as it melts into your boozy cocktail. Freeze various colored juices (or sodas) like yellow pineapple to later drop into a Tropical Mule – copper mug mandatory.


  1. Scored Citrus Peel

Lightly score the outside of your citrus peel in a crosshatch pattern before peeling. Not only will the pattern be fashionable and functional, but scoring it will help release the essential oils which will enrich your drink. Use a sharp paring knife for the best results. And, score responsibly.


  1. Boozy Fruit

Make your own boozy fruit (sans food coloring). Simply soak your fruit in the liqueur of your choosing until you are satisfied with its taste. Think maraschino cherries marinated in bourbon to top a pre-mixed Manhattan or Southern Mule.


  1. Candied Fruits

Candied citrus wheels, spicy ginger, and even hardy vegetables like fennel make enticing additions to your drink selection as flavor and appearance are enhanced by coating in granulated sugar or exotic spices. Prick them with a toothpick or skewer and place atop of your glass (or can). Maybe stick a few at the bottom to soak up the booze for a sweet treat.