Perfect Garnishes for Your Gin Cocktail

There is nothing like an ice-cold gin and tonic after a long day dealing with stress in every direction you turned. Something about the smooth, silky flavour of gin sliding down your tense throat and the fizz of tonic adding that extra layer of relief makes it a perfect refreshment that sets the tone for the evening.

Even if you don’t have the traditional gin and tonic garnish lime wedge to give your cocktail a bit of sour fruitiness, don’t despair. You can actually take any botanical you have lying about to add something to the top notes. Also, who says you need to have a G&T every night of the week? There are other gin cocktails that might fit different moods even better while giving you greater options in interesting garnishes.

Various Gin Cocktails to Try

Before talking about how to garnish gin, maybe we should begin by looking at some of the most popular gin cocktails. Each of these cocktails will probably go best with a unique gin flavour profile, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Gin cocktails trending in 2022 are:

  • Gin Gimlet
  • Gin and Tonic
  • Bramble Gin Cocktail
  • Singapore Sling
  • Gin Martini
  • Corpse Reviver Gin Cocktail
  • Gin Fizz
  • Aviation

Additionally, each of these may be made with different brands and flavours of gin, so you can start your bottom and mid notes with the gin you love best for that particular cocktail, then move on to looking at what garnish with what gin that adds both artistry to the glass and flavour to the drink.

citrus garnishes for gin cocktail

Gin Flavour Profiles for Garnishes

Based on the cocktail you are mixing and the flavour profile inherent in the gin being used, some garnishes simply work better than others. Casual gin drinkers sometimes assume that the garnish is purely for aesthetics. They couldn’t be farther from the truth! The basic flavour profiles to consider when choosing the appropriate gin garnish would include:

  • Classic gins
  • Citrus gins
  • Fruity gins
  • Spicy gins
  • Herbal gins
  • Floral gins

You can immediately see that not all garnishes will work equally well with each of those flavour profiles.

colonsay bramble gin cocktail
Colonsay Bramble Gin Cocktail

Examples of Popular Garnishes

To get an idea of how the flavour profile of the gin cocktail impacts the garnish you should use, let’s look at the Colonsay Bramble Gin Cocktail. This particularly fruity cocktail is blended with lemon and muddled blackberries. It’s a fruity sweet and sour gin cocktail so the garnishes preferred are lemon, blackberries and fresh rosemary.

Now, those garnishes you’ve been waiting for!

  • Classic gins – fruity, savoury, herbal, citrus, floral, spicy garnishes
  • Citrus gins – spicy, floral, citrus, herbal, savoury, fruity garnishes
  • Fruity gins – fruity, savoury, herbal, citrus, floral, spicy
  • Spicy gins – fruity, savoury, herbal, citrus, floral, spicy
  • Herbal gins – spicy, floral, citrus, herbal, savoury, fruity
  • Floral gins – spicy, floral, citrus, herbal, savoury, fruity

You can see that each flavour profile may use the exact same categories of garnishes but are listed in order of preference. For example, citrus gins work best with spicy or floral garnishes while spicy gins do best with fruity garnishes.

In the end, you really can interchange garnishes with each flavour profile and often it is a matter of preference. The best advice when looking at what to garnish gin with would be to try some of each.


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