How to Garnish Your Gin Cocktail

Time to get creative with your gin and your garnishes!

Can your garnish make or break your gin cocktail? Probably not, there’s no reason to get dramatic.  But your garnish can enhance or complement the gin flavors and aromas, not to mention adding a bit of eye candy to your cocktail.

It’s helpful to know a bit about your gin to find the best garnishes. 

I dare say, it’s best to try many combinations before you land on a favorite.  More fun that way.

It’s generally safe to say that London Dry gins do well with citrus garnishes.

For your typical London Dry gins, the flavors can be traditional juniper or any twist on modern tastes, as long as the process of creation adheres to the set standards of distillation.   

Pick your citrus!

Try these citrus garnishes for your London Dry gin:


  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Blood Orange
  • Sweet Orange
  • Sour Orange
  • Mandarin

Spicy gins often pair well with garnishes that bring out more spices. 

If you like that sort of thing.  If you want to temper the spice, compliment the robust gin with herbs, citrus, or flowers. 

Cinnamon or peppercorn for your gin? Yes, please!

Try the following spices or spicy things, just plunked right into your glass. 

  • Anise
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Peppercorn
  • Juniper
  • Olives
  • Brined onions

Citrus gins can be amplified with more citrus, logically.

But why be normal? Try pairing citrus gins with herbs and plants. You can go for color, flavor, or texture here, or say “screw it all” and just add an umbrella.

All sorts of citrus and some berries. All good for your health and your gin.

Try these garnishes for the citrus-tinged gins.

  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Cucumber
  • Rosemary
  • Chilis
  • Lavender
  • Pear

Floral gins are easily garnished with edible flowers, logically. 

Mix things up if the floral is too much and you want to spice it up from the list above, or add an acidic punch with some citrus.

I don’t have a picture of edible flowers. So basically here’s some mint and let’s pretend it’s a delicious and delicate flower.

You could try these beautiful flowers for flavor and for an appealing visual, or mix things up with some berries for the garnish on your floral gin.

  • Pansies
  • Borage blossoms
  • Hibiscus 
  • Lavender 
  • Rose
  • Zucchini blossoms
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pomegranate

There’s really no limit to what you could add to your gin cocktail, perhaps you want to add more than one garnish.  

How to Prepare Garnishes for Gin Cocktails

Fresh garnishes come right from the garden or market. 

Citrus is generally wedged or sliced, plants are herbs are hydrated and bright.  Olives and onions can be skewered right from the jar.  Smaller fruits and berries can also be skewered, or tossed right in.

You can also slice fresh fruits and citrus for a more profiled look.  I suppose you could try to slice some herbs and spices, but at that point, you should probably just sprinkle some in from your spice cabinet. 

Not from my garden, but somebody’s garden grew these.

If you are going the dehydrated route for your gin garnish, you will definitely up the wow factor of your gin drink.

Slice and dice your garnish of choice evenly and thinly so it dries out beautifully, either in the oven or a dehydrator. You can purchase dehydrated garnishes already if saving time is your jam.  

For step by step instructions on dehydrating your own garnishes head over here.

I dehydrated the snot out of this citrus. The literal snot.

If you fancy the citrus oil flavors over the juice, a la a twist, zip off some of your fruit’s zest and agitate it over your glass. 

Twist it, fold it, manipulate the zest to release the citrus oils in the zest.  Do this while hovering over your cocktail, or drop it in your drink, or swipe the zest over the rim for max flavor.  

There’s a bit of practice to getting some beautiful zest.

You can also skewer and dunk any number of garnish combinations, and this works well with olives, small berries, and onions.  

This particularly fiendish method of garnishing a cocktail makes for a tidy presentation and is, perhaps, the voodoo style of garnishing your drink.

Don’t stick to tradition here, mix up some olives and zest, or skewer some berries and herbs, or even onions and ….. well, what goes with onions?

Fruit salad, sure, but it’s better in your glass. Soaked in gin.

There’s literally no limit to the possibilities.  Drink and combine and decorate and savor what you like.  And then try something new.

how to garnish your gin drink
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