When it comes to cocktails, the garnish can make or break your drink experience. Ditch the toothpick paper umbrella and try something much more stunning – and delicious! Try an edible cocktail garnish for an impressive presentation that will elevate any party drink. With a few tips, ideas, and ingredients, you can make your own fabulous edible cocktail garnish, in no time!
My Island Inspiration
I’m a sucker for any kind of edible cocktail garnish, and while in Bora Bora this was no exception – I was so inspired! Every day, the garnish was a different fruit or flower and I quickly realized how simple and fun creating cocktail garnishes could be. How stunning are the Bora Bora cocktails below!? The most beautiful cocktails showcased fresh, vibrant drink colors paired with equally radiant garnishes. Influenced by my Bora Bora drink toppers, I created a few fun edible cocktail garnish ideas that you can make too!
Edible Cocktail Garnish Party Essentials:
First, prepare all edible garnish elements before the party (slicing, mellon-balling, peeling), then display the ingredients all together on one serving plate. Preparing your garnishes closer to the start of the party helps to keep your gorgeous garnishes fresh, crisp, and vibrant – don’t prepare them the night before. After the ingredients are carefully prepped, layer the garnish pieces all together to help everyone come up with their own unique creation. Your guests can layer and stack whatever ingredients catch their eye. Have toothpicks on hand (this one and this one are perfect for an island-inspired party) so your guests can stack and secure their edible garnish. Lastly, serve the garnish items on ice so the edible garnish ingredients stay cool and fresh while your guests enjoy their drinks. I guarantee, they will come back for more!
4 Island-Inspired Edible Cocktail Garnish Ideas
Dragon Fruit + Mint
Anything with dragon fruit is a win! Who doesn’t like something that is both hot pink and polka dot? This unique and exotic ingredient is perfect to prepare with a melon baller because the white and black speckled center is soft like a mellon and is oh-so scoopable. I paired the dragon fruit with mint leaves (folded into thirds) alternating them on a bamboo tooth pick.
Glass Pairing: shorter, tumbler-style glasses (like this one)
Garnish Substitutions: Watermelon + Basil, Melon + Rosemary, Pear + Sage
Pineapple Leaves + Citrus Peel
Turn gorgeous, green pineapple leaves into a drink decoration! Pineapple leaves are the perfect addition to any tall drink, especially if the drink has pineapple juice as an ingredient. I love the contrasting electric orange peel with the forest green pineapple leaf – it’s such a pop of tropical color! To prepare the pineapple leaves, wash under cold water and trim (cut at an angle to keep the pointy shape) any wilted, discolored, or dry leaf tips. I also scored the citrus peel with a fork for added texture, you can cut the peel end into a point or carve in any design.
Garnish Substitutions: Celery Stick + Citrus Peel, Cucumber Stick + Strawberry Slice
Lotus Root + Starfruit
Commonly found at most Asian markets, lotus root and starfruit are both very inexpensive and are truly unique tropical drink topper ingredients! Half a pound of lotus root was $1.11, while the star fruit was $2.99 per pound. These edible cocktail garnishes are perfect for the rim of a drink with the layering of colors and shapes creating a stunning presentation. To help secure the drink topper on the glass rim, cut a small slit into the circle, almost cutting into the exact center of the topper.
Glass Pairing: I think any glass would be stunning with this circular decoration. However, I loved the idea of using a curvy glass to accentuate the shape of the drink toppers.
Garnish Substitutions: Look at the suggestion below!
Cucumber + Key Lime
Similar to the edible cocktail garnish idea above, the alternating circle shapes around the rim of a glass are so stunning! I chose key limes because they are extra teeny-tiny, perfectly paired next to a slice of hardy cucumber. Cutting a slice almost all the way into the center of the cucumber and key lime helps to secure the garnish in place.
Glass Pairing: Any glass would be perfect but I chose a curvy glass to accentuate the circular shape of the garnish
Garnish Substitutions: Orange Circular Slice + Kiwi, Banana Slice + Pineapple Triangle, Beet Circular Slice + Orange Circular Slice
It is so fun to create your own edible cocktail garnish, with different colors and shapes – let your creativity loose! There are no wrong or right garnish decorations when you are using gorgeous, fresh, tropical ingredients. Every drink topper is a show-stopper.
Do you have any island-inspired edible cocktail garnish ideas? The possibilities are truly endless, but do you have any gorgeous go-to’s? Comment below, I’d love to hear about your garnish ideas.