We’re always looking for an excuse to gather friends and summer is no exception. If you’re like us, you like things to be memorable so every last detail is planned. But that doesn’t mean we’re willing to spend hours prepping (it’s too hot, and summer is supposed to be laidback), so we plan on easy drinks that have a little extra flair.
Classic Summer Cocktail Garnishes
There’s nothing wrong with a twist of lime or a sprig of mint, but this weekend we wanted to create some seasonal cocktail garnishes. We teamed up with PAMA Liqueur to share festive summer cocktails and garnishes that aren’t predictable (it’s time to move past cookie cutter watermelon stars, don’t you think?).
6 Summer Cocktail Garnish Ideas
And PAMA is perfect for the holiday; its ruby red color is subtly patriotic and the sweet, tart pomegranate flavor adds a twist to your fave drinks. And, yes, you can totally take all the credit for creating these garnishes — that’s what we’re here for!
Rosemary Berry Skewers
If we’re going to talk cocktail garnishes, we need to lay some groundwork. Unless it’s a festive touch (like, sparkler picks), we think garnishes should reflect the ingredients in the glass, you dig?
Once blackberries are in season, we mix up Pomegranate Brambles on the regular (if you haven’t had one, make sure you make a batch this weekend). And, since this cocktail is named after a bramble bush, we figured the garnish should read organic so this is simply a berry skewered on a rosemary stem.
Leave the overly-complicated to the handlebar mustached mixologists, we’ll take simplicity any day!
Spiked lemonade gets a bad rap but it can be made great with a simple twist. Take your favorite lemonade recipe, add a dash of pomegranate liqueur and some plum slices and you have an effortlessly chic summer drink. And we think it deserves and equally chic garnish like these plum petals. Take paper thin slices of plums, stack, fold, and skewer them with a toothpick so they resemble a petal.
If you haven’t tried them yet, you need to give the combo of peaches and pomegranates a go. Like in this Moscow Mule: add a few slices of peach to the mint before muddling and use PAMA in place of the alcohol. And a pairing that perfect deserves a gorgeous garnish like these peach rosettes.
This garnish is a cinch: slice some white peach or nectarine slices paper thin then roll and overlap about 4 or 5 into a funnel shape and secure it with a toothpick.
Chile-Dusted Melon Balls
There’s something about the sweet-tart of watermelon with pomegranate that we absolutely adore. It’s like they’re better together and nowhere is that more apparent than in these Watermelon Pomegranate Margaritas.
We topped these with a melon ball dusted in some chilli powder and sea salt. It’s a garnish that works anywhere you want to add a dash of sweet-spicy-salty.
We agree: everything doesn’t have to be homemade when you’re entertaining and that includes your garnishes. For an instantly festive cocktail look, we like to top our favorite drinks, like this pomegranate-twist on a Kir Royale, with these little firecracker sparkler picks.
And, if you have any leftover? Just stash them away until New Years Eve!
We don’t love sweet cocktails but every once in a while, adding a little sweetness can be fun, which is why these rock candy stirrers are winning.
Summer Recipe Ideas
Need some more summer recipe inspiration? We have everything from grilled corn bread salad to easy summer sippers. Check out our seasonal recipes we make all summer long!
Opening photo by Suzanne Clements