Sacred Talks Garnishes
What is a garnish?
A garnish is an item or ingredient used as a decoration or embellishment accompanying a food dish or drink - obviously our main focus here is the drinks! In some cases it may give an additional contrasting flavour.
We firmly believe in both style and substance!
We don't know about you, but a year of locking down seems to have gotten everyone's creative juices flowing and many have emerged from their Covid cocoons as full-fledged sourdough supremoes and cocktail connoisseurs. So we've decided to share our simple tips and tricks to ensure you're not flagging.
When you're making cocktails at home there's usually not a whole lot of presentation involved - a glass, ice, perhaps a wedge of lemon or lime - but now that barbecue and picnic season is upon us (weather permitting), it's time to spruce it up a bit! (note: no spruces will be involved in the making of our cocktails).
Some garnishes may be used to balance your flavours, others may be used to highlight, it's really up to you!
Citrus is probably the most common and easy garnish to use, adding bitterness, brightness and aroma to your drink. Citrus peels are crucial when making a Martini, which if you haven't already realised, we are very fond of. For a twist in a Martini, cut a large slice of lemon peel, avoiding excess pith, peel and twist over the drink to express the oils, then drop into the drink. We'd recommend using Sacred Gin or Sacred Organic Vodka with Sacred English Dry Vermouth.
For some added drama to your Negroni, cut a long band of orange peel, slicing the edges at a diagonal with a sharp knife, to wrap around your ice cube, adding more flavour and more of that fabulous orange colour to your tumbler. Try our Bottle-Aged Negroni or make your own with the Sacred Negroni Bundle.
Fruits and berries are a wonderful thing to add to your cocktail because they bring a flash of colour, vibrancy, and a sweet treat to look forward to at the end of your cool drink. Another tip is chilling your berries in the freezer to keep your G&T cold on a hot summer's day. Browse our gin selection here.
Alternatively, there's the much more indulgent maraschino cherry which offers the contrasting sweetness and syrup which is incredibly delicious in a spirit-forward Manhattan or a sour-style cocktail like a Whisky Sour. Our Manhattan uses Sacred English Spiced Vermouth and Sacred Peated English Whisky.
Fresh herbs are always a refreshing addition to a cocktail. Think mint, rosemary and thyme, they all lend both flavour and visual interest to a cocktail. Smack your fresh-herb garnish against your hand before adding it to the cocktail in order to release essentials oils and add extra aroma to the drink.
Top tip: to be more sustainable, try using your sturdy sprig of rosemary or lavender as a cocktail skewer, adding citrus rounds or seasonal fruits. You can even char the end of the herb for an additional smoky flavour. Our favourite pairing for Sacred Pink Grapefruit Gin is with a light-style tonic with a rosemary garnish.
Drying your garnishes is a great way of avoiding waste which is something we feel very strongly about at Sacred. You won't get the same aroma you would get from a fresh slice of citrus fruit, but you should harness a flavour more concentrated and intense as a result of the dehydrating process.
All you have to do is pop your orange, raspberries, apples or even chillies in the oven and start collecting.
Sweet & Salt Rim
It’s a classic garnish for a margarita but can be used to add flair to any cocktail. Moisten the top edge of the glass with the juice from a lime or lemon wedge. Add salt to a shallow dish, and dip the top of the glass into the salt to evenly coat the edge of the glass. For a sweeter cocktail try a sugary flavoured rim - a Cosmo for instance. For a punchier drink, add salt mixed with lime zest, chilli or even smoked salt.
Pickled garnishes are another great savoury addition to your cocktail.
If you like your Martini dirty you'll be using brine and olives, whilst tomato based cocktails like a Bloody Mary work well with gherkins and cornichons too. You can take it one step further than a Gibson and pickle your own! Pickling is a great way to preserve seasonal foods, consider a pickled peach in a winter cocktail!
Quite honestly the possibilities are endless, which is why it's all the more pressing to get started.
Do let us know if you have any weird and wonderful garnishing creations you'd like to share - we'd love to re-post them!