Twists: Although I've occasionally seen
an experienced barman cut a lemon twist from a
lemon peel, most establishments prepare lemon
twists en-masse. The way to do this is to cut
the ends off of a lemon and use a spoon to force
the pulpy fruit out of the lemon. You then
slice the empty lemon peel lengthwise into quarter-inch
thick strips. When called for, take one of these
strips and twist it like a corkscrew as you use
it to rub the inside of the glass. When you've
flavored the rim of the glass, drop the lemon
twist into the drink and stir briskly.
& Lemon Wedges: So many drinks call
for lime wedges that it is best to have some of
these prepared as a part of preparing you bar.
To cut a lime or lemon wedge, cut the lime or
lemon across the short way and then quarter each
remaining half. To serve, rub
the wedge around the rim of the glass, squeezing
gently, and drop it into the drink.
Cherries: It's unclear whether these bright
red cherries are garnishes or garbage. Although
they add little flavor when dropped into a drink,
most people prefer to pull the cherries out by
their stems and eat them as well. Because
of this, buy maraschino cherries with stems attached
if possible. Also, be aware that green maraschino
cherries carry a very strong, very different,
and very minty flavor while red maraschino cherries
are sweet and tasty. If a drink calls for a maraschino
cherry, a red maraschino is almost always preferred.
The traditional martini garnish, green olives
should be served without pimentos (the little
red thing sometimes found in green olives) and
served skewered on a toothpick, plastic sword,
or martini skewer and placed in the drink. Although
some drinks specifically call for black olives,
if the recipe doesn't specify what color olive
to use then a green olive is appropriate.
onions: Pearl onions should be served in
the same manner as olives, skewered and placed
in gin and vermouth.
stalks: The traditional decoration of a
Bloody Mary, you should cut as little as possible
from the celery, leaving the leafy end above the
level of the liquid while also leaving as much
of the celery as possible to be chewed on by the
peel: To create a cucumber peel, it is
necessary to take some small amount of the fruit
within, cutting the peel to be approximately a
quarter of an inch thick. The peel should then
be curled around the rim of the glass and dropped
into the drink.
Lemon, and Orange Slices or Wheels: Where
fruit wedges are garnishes, the slices are garbage
meant to decorate but not flavor the drink. Because
of the shape of these fruit slices, they are also
called wheels even though they are only semi-circles.
To create a fruit wheel, cut off the ends
of the fruit and then slice the rest into quarter-inch
thick slices. Cut these slices into halves, and
make a thin cut along the grain of the fruit.
To serve, slide this thin cut on to the rim of
Various drinks may also be appropriately served
with plastic swords, paper parasols, fireworks,
or any other odds and ends. Although men are often
embarrased to be served such decorated drinks,
we find that almost anything is acceptable on
the shores of a tropical island.
This article is the fourth article in a ten article
series designed to transform people new to drink
mixing into competent bartenders. Click
for the next article in the series, Shaken
& Stirred Cocktails.