10 Christmas cocktail garnishes to try
That winter break you’re looking forward to is nearly here and there is so much to do in the lead up to Christmas day. It's easy to forget that a comforting, spicy festive ambience is a winter mindset you can foster for the entire month of December and beyond. While serving up those delicious limited edition Christmas cocktails, a selection of innovative, delicate and zesty garnish ideas add a whole host of flavours and aesthetic appeal.
An easy way to get that RSVP is to offer a full sensorial experience at your cocktail party. By adding gorgeous garnishes, you show your guests that your cocktail party is a festive feast for the eyes and palate you’ve put great preparation into.
Whether garnishing for effect or flavour, have a look at our Christmas-themed cocktail garnishes that anybody can have a go at making.
1 Pomegranate arils
This deliciously sweet and tart ruby red fruit is perfectly in keeping with the rich colour themes of Christmas and can be added as a playful touch of colour to any gin, vodka or tequila based cocktails. Enjoy making some pomegranate margaritas by adding fresh pomegranate juice to our classic margarita and garnish with a few seeds..
2 Red currants and cranberries
Both are bright blood red and ideal for garnishes but add fresh cranberries and juice to our already gorgeously pink cosmopolitan. Try rolling fresh cranberries in sugar and spearing them with a cocktail stick or drop them into your drink directly. Red currants are bigger and more translucent than cranberries, and have extra nutritional clout being higher in minerals and vitamins per gram.
3 Slices of apple and pear with cloves
Push some cloves into Apple and pear slices and place on the rim or float on the top of a hot toddy. Leave them soak for a minute before drinking to let the fruit flavour infuse. They are the ideal succulent accompaniment for our festive Spiced Apple Rum Punch which you can find in our limited edition Christmas cocktail box. For hot toddy inspiration, you can even top up our Old-Fashioned whiskey cocktail with a little hot water, add a little brown sugar and a slice of juicy red apple or crisp pear to infuse it with extra flavour.
4 Candy cane
A really fun festive garnish is crushed candy cane which you can add to the rim of your glass. Simply crush the candy cane in a tea towel with a rolling pin, dip the rim of the glass into a little water then dip again into the finely crushed stripey sweet. This will add a crunchy, minty texture to your cocktail as well as some colour to your candy cane twist on our Dry Martini. If you add a dash of peppermint Schnapps and white chocolate liqueur, you have a sweet, candy cane cocktail that looks the part on your Christmas table.
5 Dessert gooseberries
Sweet red dessert gooseberries, blue fraughan berries (if you’re lucky enough to find them in the hedgerows before harvest), red lingonberries or dried red mulberries are beautifully plump, bursting with sour-sweetness and colourful enough to add drinkability to a classic vodka or gin-based cocktail such as our White Lady.
6 Maraschino cherries
The Original Maraschino Cherries made by Luxardo in Padua, Italy are the darlings of the cocktail bar owing to their rich, sweet and vibrant flavour that is second to none. Candied in Sangue Morlacco Cherry Liqueur, it’s hard to keep hands off them before they even reach the cocktails. Rich, deep and delicious, spear these dark cherries and pour your Old Fashioned over them as they rest on the rim of the glass. You can also drizzle a bar spoon of syrup directly into the drink and drop a cherry directly in to add more nuance.
7 Slices of orange, lemon and cloves
The Boulevardier cocktail is a rich warming winter cocktail that benefits from an artfully twisted piece of lemon peel or a slice of flamed orange peel. Push a couple of cloves into a slice to add that festive spiciness or use a cooking torch to lightly flame a thin strip of peel before adding to the top of your drink. Home dried slices are really easy to make and add extra better sweet notes and texture to your cocktail. Simply remove as much moisture as you can from two thinly sliced oranges and lemons between two tea towels then place on baking paper in a very low oven or drier. For more orange garnish inspiration have a look over here..
8 Dragon fruit
One of the prettiest garnishes by far is the dragon fruit. Its white flesh dotted by small seeds in a fragrant pink skin is the favourite garnish for all sorts of cocktails. Use half slices to make a fan shape, spear it and rest in or on the edge of your drink, or make a slit in whole slices and slot onto the side of the glass. You can also use them dried and place a round on the top of your vodka sour
Make sure you get them ripe and sweet. Sliced or whole strawberry is one of the sweetest and most aesthetically appealing garnishes that never disappoints. Its succulent juiciness is the making of the Strawberry Margarita and can even be paired nicely with a daiquiri. It can be muddled and shaken with crushed ice, strained and poured directly into your cocktail to deepen the flavour profile. Catch eyes and hearts at your next soirèe with everyone’s favourite fruit.
You can use dried or fresh elderflower when in season. Its floral, sweet, fruity and even crisp tasting florets can be distilled or added to a sugar syrup solution to make your own elderflower cordial which can be added to Elderflower Collins or to our own fragrant elderflower infused Garden of Russia. The florets are perfumed and are also an inviting garnish for an English garden cocktail.