In the world of bartending, it’s easy to get caught up in a lot of wastefulness, especially with drink garnishes. Not only are your garnish peels worthy of being used, but certain peels, stems and tops are full of hidden health benefits and surprisingly flavorful too. So, what can you do to use your garnishes to their fullest potential and re-vamp your cocktails in the process with a more potent flavor offering? Here are just a few of our suggestions.
What to do with celery tops? Celery as a garnish has been making a comeback and is of course used in a Bloody Mary, but the leaves are brimming with much more magnesium and calcium than the stalks. They’re also rich in vitamin C, potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Try finely chopping the leaves and floating them on top of your cocktail as a garnish.
The orange garnish is a popular drink decoration, but what can you do with the peel? The orange peel contains more than four times as much fiber as the fruit inside, and more flavornoids with anticancer and antidiabetic properties. Grate and sprinkle the zest on top of your cocktails along with that orange twist garnish and run the twist along the rim of the glass to experience the full benefit of this flavorful fruit.
Watermelon cocktails are great for the summer. A USDA study found that the tart white rind offers a high dose of citrulline, the amino acid that dilates blood vessels to help improve circulation. Throw the rind in a blender along with fresh lime and watermelon flesh and mix in rum, gin or vodka to make a tasty refreshing cocktail.