Picture this. You come to one of our houses for dinner, the door opens, you’re immediately greeted with a cocktail. It looks crisp, refreshing and delicious. The Holy Trinity of the Black Lines perfect serve: Liquid, Ice, Garnish. For us, they’re deal breakers. The final touch that really makes the drink.

But it begs the question, why do we garnish cocktails? Where did this tradition come from? And most importantly, how do you garnish your Black Lines cocktails?

The Origins of Cocktail Garnishes.

Adding garnishes to cocktails all began in a bygone era of speakeasies. Think flapper dresses and jazz-filled nights, back in the ‘heyday’ of mixology in the early 20th century. Bartenders would adorn their drinks with botanicals, fruits and spices from around the globe.

The Black Lines Garnish Rule: Add rather than take away from the Liquid.

Garnishes are now a timeless tradition. On the one hand, it’s the perfect, simple aesthetic elevation to your serve. All part of the experience; hitting both sight and smell before the first sip. But more than that a garnish genuinely accentuates the flavour.

The Black Lines Rule.

Over time, garnishes have become increasingly outlandish, more-is-more elaborate. But you won’t find candy floss near our drinks. Our only rule: keep it simple. Add rather than take away from the Liquid.

How do I garnish my cocktail?

The all important question. The beauty is most of the Black Lines range can be garnished with what’s already in your kitchen. Our chosen garnishes are mainly citrus based; Orange, Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit, as their essential oils accent the flavour of the drinks. Remember the rule of thumb for any Black Lines cocktail: chill the bottle first and always plenty of ice. Scroll below for all of our bottled serves.

How to garnish: The Spicy Tommy's Margarita.

Our bestseller, an absolute staple in the team’s fridge. For the stripped back garnish: a wedge of lime. For the elevated serve: add a Tajin rim or a red chilli top for an extra kick.

How to garnish: The Negroni.

Another house favourite and part of a cocktail class of its own, the Aperitivo. With your pre-dinner snacks at the ready you’ll need just an orange to garnish the Negroni. Slice, peel, or twist - it’s all about the oils and aroma.

How to garnish: The Passion Fruit Martini.

The real party-starter. With the Martini, we’re a little more lax. As good served nude as it is with garnish. You can top with freshly grated lime zest for an especially aromatic finish. Or the full monty, half a Passionfruit.

How to garnish: The Espresso Martini.

Then the one to keep you going. In Dick Bradsell’s words, “a drink that will wake me up and fuck me up”. Top your Espresso Martini with a trio of coffee beans: meant to represent health, wealth and happiness. We’ll take all three.

How to garnish: The Paloma.

Oh the Paloma. Margarita’s better looking sister. There’s nothing better than an early summer’s evening, parked with one of these in hand. Garnish with a juicy half slice of grapefruit. Looks as delicious as it tastes.

How to garnish: The Shirley Temple.

One of the only in the Black Lines range where we get a little fancy. Start with a slice of orange, add a maraschino cherry - then for decoration a stripey straw. Fun and functional.

How to garnish: The Rum Punch.

The classy King of Summer. Garnish with a slice of orange and for extra flare, a mint sprig, to bring fresh mint aroma to the final taste.

How to garnish: The Pear & White Tea Fizz.

Liquid Gold. A Black Lines signature serve born over a summer weekend filled with ice teas and muddled pear lollies. A simple lemon slice does more than enough for garnish here.

How to garnish: The Elderflower Collins.

Same goes for the Elderflower Collins. Every Gin needs a friend - what better match than classic British Elderflower. Stick to a lemon slice garnish and let the liquid do the talking.