|be the perfect host/ess||.||
'Fess up now: youíre just a little looks-biased when it comes to cocktails, arenít you? A perfectly executed martini isnít nearly as nice if itís served up in a plastic cup rather than a delicately-stemmed, crystal-clear cocktail glass. And thereís a tiny part of you that loves those cheesy pina coladas you only order when you go to the local tiki lounge, not the least because it comes with a teetering totem pole of a fruit garnish topped with the requisite mini-umbrella. Face it: the appeal of a cocktail is as much in how it looks as how it tastes. And when it comes to cocktail appearances, itís the garnish that provides that final finishing touch of essential cocktail flair.
By now you might have your bar stocked with the basic liquors, the requisite glassware, the necessary accoutrements like shaker, strainer, a jigger or two perhaps. All this is a good start towards creating a good home bar and if youíve achieved this much, congratulations! Youíve now progressed well beyond your vodka-in-a-plastic-bottle college party days. Now itís time to learn a little something about garnishes Ö
what youíll need
good paring knife | A sharp knife makes all the difference in the world. Invest in one.
toothpicks and/or wooden skewers
citrus garnishes for cold drinks
wedge |If youíve ever cut an orange to eat, then you already know how to slice a wedge: itís the most basic of citrus garnish shapes. The wedge isnít as elegant as the wheel, but for drinks thatíll taste better with a good splash of citrus juice (those gin and tonics, for example), itís the garnish of choice, as itís a whole lot easier to squeeze between the fingers. To serve a drink with a wedge, cut a small slit in the fleshy fruity part so that you can rest the wedge on the lip of the glass.
use with: cuba libre, gin and tonic, gimlet, kamikaze, tequila gimlet, vodka gimlet