Home bar essentials, part 3 – Essential garnishes to stock


Notice how squeezing a lemon wedge in your gin and tonic or expressing your martinis with orange peel make them all the more appealing? Garnishes can transform an ordinary drink or cocktail into a great one. Usually, garnishes are the finishing touch that adds visual appeal, but in some cases, garnishes can also add a splash of flavor to the drink.

Realistically, you are unlikely to add a garnish to every drink you make, especially if you are preparing them at home for regular consumption. However, our picks for essential garnishes will prep you for a majority of cocktails.

  • Lemons, Limes & Oranges: The three citrus fruits used as garnish most often. Moreover, you can also use them for fresh juice. So, it’s wise to have a few of each around your home bar
  • Maraschino Cherries: These preserved, sweetened cherries are quite popular for garnishing food and drinks. But we advise you to find maraschinos that are more natural for your home bar instead of the usual bright red, syrupy ones
  • Olives: Required for the traditional dry martini garnish
  • Cocktail Onions: A fun alternative to olives, onions can help turn your martini into a Gibson
  • Mint: The essential garnish for a variety of summer cocktails, especially mojitos and mint juleps
  • Salt and Sugar: Mainly used for rimming glasses for drinks like the margarita
  • Cinnamon: Hot cocktails usually benefit from a single cinnamon stick garnish, adding a nice flavor
  • Grated Nutmeg: Acts as an excellent complement in many winter and creamy cocktails
  • Celery or Pickles: The iconic garnishes for a good whisky pickle back cocktail and bloody Mary
  • Whipped Cream: Adds a nice finishing touch to sweet dessert cocktails

Garnishing with Ice

Most drinks and cocktails use ice in some form for garnish, either while mixing or once the prep is done. Ice not only enhances the flavor but also takes away any underlying alcohol burn to make drinks smoother. You can pick up different types of ice for mixing drinks and cocktails. A little knowledge will help improve your icy garnishes and up your reputation as an expert mixer.

Well, with that, we wrap up our series on home bar essentials. Hopefully, it has helped you diversify your liquor collection and add some great mixers and garnishes to the cabinet. For more great content, keep following our blog and social handles.