Garnishes for Beverages

An artful presentation adds to the pleasure of socializing with a refreshing beverage. With simple garnishes, a delicious drink becomes a party! Try enhancing the next round with these ideas.

Make party ice! In ice cube tray squares, place raspberries, strawberries or blueberries, fresh mint leaves, or petals from non-chemically treated flowers, such as pansies, rose petals or dianthus. Cover with water and freeze. Ta-da! Beautiful ice.

Frost a glass by placing it in the freezer 15-30 minutes before using. Fill with ice and cold beverages.

Coat the rim of a glass with sugar or salt. Invert the glass, dip the rim in water, then dip it into a plate of salt, sugar or colored sugar.

Attach fresh fruit— pineapple wedges, citrus slices or whole strawberries—to the rim of the glass. Cut a slit partway through the fruit so it will rest on the rim without falling.

For colorful citrus curls, use a citrus stripper to remove a long continuous strip of peel. Tightly wind the strip around a straw and secure the end with waterproof tape. Let stand at least 20 minutes. Remove the tape and slide the curl off the straw. The curl will hold its shape.

Skewer a slice of star fruit and place it vertically into a clear drink.

With a small cookie cutter, cut decorative shapes from 3/4-in.-thick slices of watermelon. Thread several pieces onto a skewer and use as a cocktail stirrer.

Weave a long, wide strip of citrus peel onto a skewer accordion-style. If desired, add a piece of fruit or mint to the top for extra color.

Chocolate squiggles are ideal for cold shakes, iced coffees or chocolate-flavored beverages. Melt semisweet chocolate chips and place in a small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small piece from the corner. Squeeze to pipe chocolate designs on waxed paper; let them stand until set. Be careful, though—if the design is too thin, it is more likely to break.