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Book Citation: The following text on drinks and bartending contains information based on The Official Harvard Student Agencies Bartending Course, Third Edition, ISBN 0-312-25286-2

Garnishes include things like fruit wedges and onions.

Lemon slices

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A good supply of lemon slices is a must.Generally a slice of lemon is added to gin and tonics but can be requested for various other drinks.

Lemon twists

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You should cut up at least one peel for lemon twists at the beginning of each night.

Generally, you won't need many more than a peel's worth if that much. You should keep a few lemon wedges around as well, for the occasional lemony-fresh patron.

To use a lemon twist, twist the peel skin side down over the drink to release the essential oils into the drink and rub the skin side around the lip of the glass not the white part and drop it in the drink.

Lime wedges

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Cut your wedges from a Persian lime, the most common type, not a key lime which is smaller and yellower. The reason for this is because while they are similar, two different flavors are produced.

Always keep your limes refrigerated to ensure the customer, or friend for that matter, is getting the best quality lime. Also, cut the limes as you need them, not before hand. Unless you know you are going to need a lot, cutting them fresh is a must.


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Use stemmed maraschino cherries, because they're easier to get out of the glass; some bar patrons may also enjoy tying the stems in knots inside their mouths. Do not get cherries soaked in rum or other alcohols; make sure your cherries are alcohol-free, as even small bits of alcohol can be extremely dangerous for drinkers with alcohol allergies.

Keep a lot of cherries around.

Orange Flag

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This is a cherry speared onto an orange slice. A "sex on the beach" uses this garnish as do many other mixed drinks.


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Olives should be green, pitted, and without pimento.

If Martinis are very popular at your bar, you want to keep a good supply of olives in stock.

Nowadays it is common to find olives stuffed with different cheeses, such as gorgonzola, blue cheese, and provolone. Jalapeño stuffed olives are also gaining popularity in the South-West region of the United States.


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Small cocktail onions, the size of marbles, are used for Gibsons. Not many people order Gibsons; you should make sure you're prepared, but not over prepared.

Orange slices

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Orange slices are another popular garnish.

Mint Leaves

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Mint leaves are required to make certain mixed drinks such as a Mojito and a Mint Julep. Mint leaves should be fresh, wrapped in a damp papertowel and refrigerated.


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Some drinks can use spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, as a garnish. These are particularly common in dairy-based drinks, like egg nogs, white russians, and alexanders, among others.