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Dress your drink with these 9 cocktail garnishes

Cocktail garnishes aren’t just a finishing touch; they add aesthetic appeal, aroma, and complementary flavours to your drink. Read on to find inspiration for your next flavour fascinator.

Match with your cocktail ingredients 

If what lies within your glass is a spicy concoction of whisky, pineapple, and chilli – chop up a sliver of fiery chilli pepper to adorn its top, just as we have in our Caledonia Caliente. As you carry it over to its lucky recipient their eyes will feast first, informing their tastebuds of the delights that await them. 

Take inspiration from your chosen ingredients when it comes to choosing your garnishes, whether it’s a warming chilli pepper or a succulent slice of grapefruit, used in our Park Hill Paloma

Ballantine’s x RZA: Whisky Paloma

In homage to RZA’s Park Hill roots. The Paloma marries the sweet smoke of our Finest whisky with the lip-smacking tang of grapefruit.

Mix your next sip

Make it zesty with a citrus garnish 

Keep it simple by using citrus zest twists. A twist of lemon, lime, or orange can add a burst of citrus aroma to your Ballantine’s whisky cocktail, enhancing your overall drinking experience.  

Begin by removing a roughly two-inch strip of your chosen citrus’s peel, making sure to take as little of the white ‘pith’ that sits between the peel and the fruit’s flesh as possible. Hiding within the pores of your citrus are sharp, complex aromatics just waiting to improve to your drink.

To unlock these hidden treats, merely express the oils over the drink by giving your peel a gentle twist over the glass. Invisible to the eye but unmistakeable to the palate, there is now an added layer of aromatics perched atop your drink. As you tease the glass towards your lips you will be met with an abundance of citrusy goodness, filling your senses.  A technique regularly used to add zip to classic strong whisky cocktails, try it out by making our Whisky & Bitters. 

Ballantine’s x RZA: Whisky & Bitters

Bring the mf ruckus with this classic Old Fashioned inspired cocktail.

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Decorate your cocktail with fresh herbs 

Fragrant and fFloral, herbs and flowers help add freshness to the glass along with a newly sprouted beauty.  

The most common herb to dress your drink with is mint, its versatile refreshing leaves bringing an unmistakably natural element to hundreds of classic and modern drinks. Our Peach whisky Iced Tea or Lassi wouldn’t be the same without their little green hats. 

Decisive as it is, coriander can too provide a lovely green dimension to a drink – check out our Caledonia Caliente. which uses it to great effect. Another garden garnish is celery, added to the Brooklyn Mary to provide a cooling vegetal snack to balance the spice of the drink’s tabasco! 

But if you are looking for something a touch more delicate yet still floral, take a peek at our White Orchid which balances our 21-year-old Ballantine’s blended scotch, crème de Vanilla and fragrant white flowers. 

Ballantine’s x RZA: Peach Whisky Iced Tea

A Park Hill native, RZA and Wu-Tang Clan helped put Staten Island on the map. Kick back, relax and sip on this delicious whisky Ice Tea cocktail.

Try out your next serve

Smoky cocktail garnishes 

Cocktail making is a culinary art, so we must lend techniques from the world of cooking. By charring, toasting, or melting our garnish we will emit new often caramelised notes. Give the Electric Milk a whirl with its ‘s’more’ style garnish! Elevate the sensory experience by incorporating smoke into your Ballantine’s whisky cocktail. Use a smoking gun to infuse woodsy notes into your drink, and garnish with a smoked cinnamon stick or a cloche filled with aromatic smoke for a dramatic presentation. 

Electric Milk

Imagine a spiked whisky hot chocolate, but cold. That’s the Electric Milk. Enjoy!

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Use berries and cherries 

Create a mini kebab by skewering fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. This garnish not only adds a pop of colour but also introduces a burst of sweetness that complements Ballantine’s whisky.  

These garnishes can be used in a variety of different drinks – from the classic to more inventive. Whether you are using a cherry in the classic Rob Roy or a raspberry in the Ballantine’s favourite, Berry Beer these juicy little fruits provide a lovely addition in both flavour and aesthetic!

The number of ways to garnish your Ballantine’s whisky cocktail is endless, there is no wrong way! We hope you’ve taken inspiration from some of our creations, we would love to see what you create – tag @Ballantines on Instagram to show us. 

Rob Roy

For those in the know, a Rob Roy is simply a Manhattan made with scotch. But also, it’s the shot of Ballantine’s 12 that makes it a true Scottish legend.

Discover your next serve

Find more ways to get creative with our collection of whisky drinks. And learn how to make better cocktails at home with Ballantine’s. 

Ethan Miln, Ballantine’s Global Brand Ambassador, has the enviable task of travelling the world illustrating the depth of flavours found within our whiskies. He is always on the hunt for new and exciting ways to drink our Scotch. Previously having managed cocktail bars in the UK & Australia, he knows his way around a cocktail shaker. But when found on the other side of the bar he’s happy with his Ballantine’s neat or in a cocktail, on a dancefloor or atop a bar. If you spot him at a bar, say hi – he’s sure to pour you a Ballantine’s!

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