Slideshow: 12 Awesome and Wacky Cocktail Garnish Ideas

Polly Want a Cocktail?
Polly Want a Cocktail?

This parrot garnish was created by Dean Callan at Tales of the Cocktail. The beak is a carrot and the eyes are Fruit Loops.

[Photo: Robert V. Burr]

Pomegranate in an Ice Bowl
Pomegranate in an Ice Bowl

For the Mezcal Mule at Lolo in San Francisco, David Gallardo and Luis Vasquez crush ice in a cloth bag, then pat it into a bowl shape by hand. The bowl goes on top of the drink (made with mezcal, pomegranate-infused tequila, and ginger beer) and is filled with pomegranate seeds.

[Photo: Aubrie Pick]

Orange Lattice
Orange Lattice

Rick Stutz of Kaiser Penguin makes this woven lattice to top off a Fernet Old Fashioned. Here's how he does it. First, using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from an orange, all the way around to make a long strip. Remove any pith with a pairing knife. Cut zest into strips that are two inches long and 1/8" wide. Weave together (over-under-over-under), then transfer to top of drink with a spatula.

[Photo: Rick Stutz]

Crouching Pineapple Hidden Lizard
Crouching Pineapple Hidden Lizard

Ran Duan of The Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden II in Woburn, MA makes this garnish to surprise guests when they get to the bottom of their drink. Here are his tips: "Core pineapple and leave the inside cylinder core uncut halfway up the pineapple. Take a cucumber and cut the tip 3 inches down to make your lizard. Cut 2 small insets on the cucumber tip to make the mouth for the lizard. Take 2 toothpicks and insert olives into cucumber for eyes. Take a orange swath and cut a lizard tongue, attach with a toothpick. Put cucumber in pineapple and insert two toothpicks as nose holes to hold in place. Add the drink and watch the lizard disappear!"

[Photo: Ran Duan]

Put a bird on it...
Put a bird on it...

Adam Robinson (of Rum Club in Portland, OR) used a mister bottle filled with Angostura and a stencil from a craft store to make this cocktail for a Portland-themed bar at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic a few years back.

[Photo: Adam Robinson]

A Carnival Ferris Wheel
A Carnival Ferris Wheel

Kate Burtis of Feu de Vie made this whimsical garnish out of one tall and one wider pineapple and some miniature gourds. Here are her tips: "Carve the pineapple wheels with an eye towards 6 thick sturdy spokes and a good outer rim, otherwise it could collapse before you get it together. Mount the centers of the wheels to a tall pineapple core with a skewer from each side for support (I used bamboo cocktail skewers with knotted ends.) Use a single skewer to hang each "gondola" at points where the wheel spokes meet the outer rim, securing the loose end with a hazelnut. To get the gourds on the skewers, gently notch a hole on each side of the gourd's 'handle' with a paring knife before threading on the skewer."

Cucumber Cobbler
Cucumber Cobbler

Alex Alfonso of Gramps Bar, Wynwood, Florida says "Coming from a culinary background I do not like to waste anything I work with. I decided to use the cucumber slices to make a pinstriped garnish for a cocktail." He peels five or six thin strips of a cucumber and layers them vertically on the inside of a chilled wine glass, then fills the glass with a mix of gin, sherry, fresh pineapple juice, and lemon.

Quite a Bloody Mary garnish
Quite a Bloody Mary garnish

This homemade Bloody Mary garnish from Edith Z. is made with celery stalks, caper eyes, and sriracha details (with toothpicks to hold it all together.)

All Natural
All Natural

Chive blossoms make a pretty substitute for a standard cocktail onion in this drink from Beth Evans-Ramos of Mama Knows Her Cocktails.