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15 Pitcher-Perfect Cocktails For Breezy Bartending Duty

Gourmet Cocktail Garnishes

The Art of the Cocktail Garnish

Our partner Tasting Table shares the best of food and drink culture. Today, Elyse Inamine describes eight eye-catching ways that bartenders are garnishing gourmet cocktails.

"Garnishes are an expression of a bartender's style," says Shinya Yamao of New York's Piora.

"My garnishes are very simple, but they act as a sub-ingredient for the cocktail," says Yamao, who stopped by TT HQ to show us how he cuts and arranges his twists on the twist.

Here, a few more inspirations for our next cocktail at home:

Spice sachet. Billy Sunday, Chicago: Think of this as potpourri for your Harvey Wallbanger. Alex Bachman throws juniper, yarrow, lavender, star anise, vanilla, mace and cedar in a burlap swatch and clips it to the coupe to evoke Galliano's aroma.

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Watermelon spheres with mint and citrus. Piora, New York City: Yamao gets meta with a garnish on a garnish — the balled watermelon is topped with a mint sprig and lemon and lime tassels for his rye-bolstered Wear and Tear.

Orange slice. Piora: All you need is a sharp knife and nimble fingers for this delicately scored garnish.

Infused strawberries. Bourbon Steak, Los Angeles: How do you enhance whisky without compromising its flavor? By torching strawberries that have been macerated in crème de cacao, then slipping them under a glass to infuse them with the lingering smoke.

Lemon slice. Piora: Yamao carefully cuts around the pith of a lemon slice to perch on the glass' lip.

Scored orange peel. Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago: "By scoring the citrus before carving off a swath, the peel retains its oils, which contribute to the cocktail's fragrance," says Paul McGee. Plus, the texture mimics the bar's decorative carved wood tikis.

Lemon barrette. The Brooklynite, San Antonio: Local bartenders compete in informal "Garnish Wars." This triangular bad boy was Jeret Peña's winning move.

Beet rosette. Pouring Ribbons, New York City: The golden beet garnish serves as a visual contrast for the burgundy-hued Action Bronson and echoes the rose-infused whiskey it's made with.

More stories from Tasting Table:

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