Friends of Empress 1908

Cocktail Curiosities: Garnishing Tip & Tricks

Every cocktail deserves the perfect final touch!

We’ve covered creating delicious cocktails, and selecting your ideal glassware— now, for the pièce de résistance! Find the perfect final touch for your cocktail creations with the help of this week’s expert, Amy, of @moodymixologist.

Arguably the easiest way to enhance your cocktail experience is to top it off with a stunning garnish. From simple citrus twists to cucumber ribbons and everything in between, you’ll leave this blog with all the know-how to take your drinks from tasty to show-stopping!


Blogger, Author, Photographer and more!

“I’m Amy Traynor, a cocktail blogger, author, and photographer. I’ve been blogging at since 2018. Since then, I’ve written two cocktail books for beginner home bartenders and developed a serious love for the art and beauty of the cocktail garnish!”

Photo Credit: @moodymixologist on Instagram

step one: choosing the perfect garnish

Before you get to creating, it’s important to choose which garnish will best suit your cocktail. When asked how she picks the perfect final touch, Amy shared some excellent tips on narrowing down your options:

“The best garnish is simply one that will make the drink taste that much better. This can be achieved with something as minimal as a sprig of mint, which adds a layer of cool freshness to citrus cocktails. Garnishes that add complementary aromas will enhance the flavors of the drink immensely.

When deciding on garnishes for my own creations, I often select a fresh botanical that will contrast with or emphasize the flavors, color, and texture of the drink. A great garnish elevates (and should never detract from) the drinking experience.


Building your garnish toolkit

With the help of just a few tools, your garnishing possibilities become endless! Read on for Amy’s home-bar staples.

sharp paring knife

“If you could only have one, a good sharp knife is really the only tool you need.”

y-shaped vegetable peeler

“…a peeler makes citrus peel garnishes or cucumber ribbons so much easier (and it’s much safer for your fingers, too!)

channel knife

“A channel knife is an excellent tool to have on hand when you just want simple, narrow citrus twists. With very little effort, you can make a perfect, uniform twist in just seconds.”

And now for amy’s go-to garnishes!

Watch this week’s video below, or tune in on Instagram!

Empress 1908 Gin’s ideal match

“My very favorite garnish for an Empress 1908 Gin cocktail is fresh grapefruit! Citrus garnishes work well with gin in general, but grapefruit plays especially nicely with the botanical profile of Empress. Grapefruit is my garnish of choice for an Empress Gin & Tonic. I also adore edible flowers for Empress cocktails because they can highlight or contrast with the gorgeous color of the gin.”

Amy also loves pairing Empress 1908’s botanical recipe with rose petals, ginger, and cucumber!

And finally, meet AMY’S favourite Empress 1908 cocktail!

“Over the years, I’ve come to really appreciate a well executed, dead simple drink. My current favorite Empress cocktail (especially during this summer heat) is a Gin Rickey. I call mine the Royal Rickey and I make it with 2 ounces of Empress 1908 Gin, the juice of half a small lime, and either Fever-Tree Club Soda or a grapefruit flavored seltzer (I always have one or the other on hand) in a tall glass with loads of ice. I love to garnish with a floating lime wheel and a sprig of mint for the ultimate gin refresher. I love this cocktail because it’s a laid back and approachable way to let the Empress flavor profile take center stage.”

Learn more from Amy on Instagram at @moodymixologist and on her website,

Check back next week for our final edition of Cocktail Curiosities with Jordan Hughes of @highproofpreacher!

Sip responsibly!

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