Time for our garnish session!

It was much appreciated! Getting people to work on twists, fire garnishes and what not…

We (the panelists were Martin Cate, Rick Stutz and me) covered the topics – cocktail garnish history, twists, spirals, fire, ice, flowers and leaves and how to incorporate garnishes that matches the cocktail – as a garnish can tell a bit about whats in the glass.

After we spoke about those things and showed a power point presentation of various garnishes and drinks etc we turned the session into a workshop. (UPDATE: Here is Marhall´s post about this session that he posted on August 3)

The garnish is really important – its the final touch and mostly its about matching or contrasting and depending on type of drink, ingredients in it etc the garnish may be elaborate or simple, like a twist. The garnish adds not only a look or flavour but also aroma which also imparts a feel.

For example the fragrance of say strawberry – from a strawberry rimmed glass may transport you to childhood for instance.

One thing i once learnt from a chef while working with salad garnishes and which i`ve taken with me into the cocktail garnishing is to not be afraid of experimenting or being bold, which isn´t necessary the same thing as always think “more is better” – often less is more, but in any case, dare to try new things.


Prepping garnishes for our drinks to be served during the session and Rick and Martin discussing the pictures to be shown.

What makes me  happy about our Foxy Garnish session is how it brought out so much creativity in everybody, all kinds of amazing and crazy garnishes were made – especially at the last drink where the attendants were told to make the craziest garnish they could think of. Everyone really enjoyed themselves. If you see Rumdood with a lemon spiral around his head and Camper with a orange moustache, you know you have succeded.



Camper and RumDood.

The table looked like a battlefield of fruits.

Discussing the use of flowers as garnish.

Trying out flaming garnish.

The range of cocktail garnishes that were made are right here..and the finish of our session was quite amazing, Martin Cate showing his garnish with live ladybugs (!) designed to fly out in the free in a garden after the drink is imbibed…


Here are a few of the fun and inventive cocktail garnishes that were made by the attendees, it was a joy to see how the session really brought out creativity in people and it was a lot of fun and learning.

During the session the attendees were served 3 cocktails that Martin, Rick and i had created and which were designed to be garnished. Martins drink was a tiki drink (surprised?) called Blog Grog and the attendees made hollowed out lime shells that were filled with Lemon Hart 151 and set alight, and finally sprinkled with dust of cinnamon to get the flames to sparkle.

Palmtree island..

Fleur de Lis…

Grapefruit man and knots..

The garnish session was followed by a fantastic lunch sponsored by Zwack and then the next session started – it was led by Jamie Bodreau , Darcy O`Neill and Rick Stutz discussing cocktail photography, a topic i`m particularly interested in.

The main points made during the photo-session were these:

A_- You dont need to have the most expensive equipment to take good pictures but if you have good stuff, it helps. Look for cameras that are good with low-light and close-up-macros.

B – Daylight is always the best.

C – Get a good lens/lenses.

D – Indoors, cheap desk-lamps will do.

E – Things to consider – visual interest, surfaces one or two, neutral background example – paper. Glassware is important, try to vary, look in 2nd hand shops. Garnish of the cocktail is important for the final touch.

F – The lowest possible number you shoot, the more light you`ll have.

G – try to get a macro of 12.

The photography session covered many topics from equipment to practical cocktail photographing outdoors.



Cocktail photographing outside on Rampart st (almost facing our house)

These two sessions were followed by the bloggers reception sponsored by Martin Millers Gin where all the bloggers got to meet each other which was held at the antique store MS Rau on Royal street. After the bloggers reception we went back to our house for a while (oh….home sweet home……)

Then it was time for the Diageo party in the Cabildo with 40 of the world`s best bartenders shaking up drinks galore for everybody. There was also a very interesting Mardi Gras exhibition in the rooms next to ours that we freely could enjoy as well….with vintage Zulu costumes and coconuts and all…

And for the first time in my life i stalked somebody! yes i did…the server who walked around with a silver plate full of the most amazing grilled chicken and steak skewers i ever had…

Not bad, not bad at all…and later that night the Ron Zacapa folks came to our house armed with their Zacapa 23 yo rums – took over our bar and started  shake up drinks for us and a quite amazing karaoke party took off and is still going on with Marin Cate singing the loudest 🙂

The party level here during Tales (well, year round really) is unreal…New Orleans is an amazing place! and the pressing heatwave that was covering the city like a hot wet blanket has slightly cooled down to a bit more bearable temps as well and with that i mean around 95F ( around +35C)

Drink-Write Conference is over…but not the Tales of The Cocktail!


Wouldn´t you like to come down to New Orleans?