The Best Garnishes For Your Favourite Gin

It wasn’t so long ago when the only garnish used in a G&T was the trusty lemon slice.  Then the oh-so-exotic lime hit the scene. We are all so excited to have a second option.  Now we are totally spoiled for choice.  The gin garnish options seem endless with fruits, herbs, spices and all sorts of weird and wonderful things that will give your gin a personality of its own.

So what garnishes do we recommend for your gin?  It all depends on the style of gin as well as what you may or may not be mixing it with. The team at Gintonica have created a list of our favourite gin garnishes.  We have created your perfect excuse to tuck into a new style of gin every day for weeks!


Citrus Slices

Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, orange, pink grapefruit and blood orange are the most popular garnishes for a gin & tonic.  They add some acidity and sharpness helping to freshen and brighten it up.  Adding a slice to a London Dry gin adds a zesty note to its dry flavour, which might sometimes be lacking in citrus botanicals.

The peel of the citrus fruit is packed full of oils, so it can stand alone to make a fantastic garnish. Giving the peel a twist will release these oils, giving off some serious aromas when rubbed around the edge of a glass –  method used often in cocktails such as the classic martini. 

Adding dehydrated citrus wheels to your gin doesn’t give you the same aroma as fresh slices however a) they are an awesome alternative to using a whole fruit for one or two gins and then watching it go mouldy in the fridge, b) they are easy to take to the beach or picnic and c) they are much kinder on the purse .  Once added to your drink the fruit will begin to rehydrate with the citrusy aroma and flavour sharpening up your favourite gin cocktail.



Hendrick’s launched the cucumber signature serve a few years ago. They use cucumber in their production process which is why the cucumber compliments it so well.

Adding cucumber to your gin and tonic brings a fresh, mellow and sometimes floral or sweet character, and so it typically harmonises with fresh, smooth and summery gins.

Cucumber can be cut into different shapes however slices are the most conventional. Use thin slices and add two or three of them as garnish. You can also cut long thin strips and roll them to serve your cocktail in a modern and original way.



Summer berries such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries make gorgeous garnishes for your gin.  Pop them in whole, or you can squash them first to impart more of the aroma & flavour and watch your gin slowly turn pink.  You can also dehydrate them and when they are added to your drink, they begin to rehydrate and add a subtle fruity sweetness. Berries are a great garnish in floral gins.



Rosemary is a very powerful and robust herb that adds a deliciously savoury note to any G&T. Thanks to the herb’s piney flavour profile it also plays very well alongside the juniper. Simply pop a sprig in your cocktail and enjoy as the aroma & flavour deepens as you sip. Rosemary works well in a savoury style gin.


Cinnamon Sticks

The sweet spice of cinnamon (cassia) is a potent flavour addition to your G&T, so be sure you’re using a gin that can hold its own, such as a good London Dry or a spicy gin. Just don’t be tempted to use your cinnamon as a swizzle stick as doing that can cause your tonic or soda to become under carbonated.  


Juniper Berries

Contrary to its name, the juniper berry is not a berry at all. It is in fact a type of pinecone. Juniper is a species of pine.  with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which gives it a berry-like appearance. 

If you’re passionate about this amazing little flavour packed berry, then why not add even more to your G&T? A few juniper berries is your secret weapon. Squeeze a juniper berry or two between your fingers, drop it in your gin and savour the aromatics.


Green Ants

The green ant is an Australian native food found in the Northern Territory and far North Queensland.  Most, if not all, green ants are harvested by First Nations people.  All the flavour is held in the green ant’s abdomen and the taste is impressive for such a small creature.  Pop one in your mouth and you get a powerful burst of lemon crossed with coriander seed and make an exciting & flavourful garnish for your gin & tonic. As green ants have a citrus flavour profile then you will find it adds a bit of wow factor to a dry or citrus style gin.



Lemongrass has a green, aromatic, citrusy flavour that brings a burst of summer freshness to your dry G&T.  To garnish, remove the tough exterior layers to reveal the tender and fragrant core and pop it in your drink.  It’s the perfect stirrer too!


Lemon Thyme

If you love a burst of lemon flavour to your gin then add some lemon thyme, next time..  It shares the minty, earthy and floral notes of regular thyme, but with a subtle essence of lemon that neutralises the bitterness sometimes found in its more well-known relative.  Add a few sprigs of lemon thyme and will result will be equal parts lemony and herbaceous.



Adding peppercorns to gin is a common way to garnish Spanish style G&Ts. Pop a few black peppercorns in yours for a savoury kick or opt for the numbing heat of Sichuan peppercorns for a truly unusual gin & tonic garnish.



Cardamom has a distinctive spicy perfumed taste with a hint of lemon.  Lightly crush the pod and pop it in your G&T or add a twist of orange for a dynamic flavour combo.  But be warned, it is best used sparingly as it has the potential to overwhelm other botanicals.


Star Annise

The pretty star shaped star anise is intensely aromatic spice, giving a pleasant, sweet, aniseed and menthol kick to any drink.  Anise also has traces of estragole, which contributes a fresh basil or tarragon-like note.  If you are up for a flavour punch, drop a star anise in your next G&T and savour the flavour. But beware, it is potent.


Rose Petals

Rose petals are one of the prettiest garnishes and elevate your drink to Insta worthy status. Their aromatic, vividly floral, earthy notes with a hint of sweetness, spice and bitterness introduce an elegant, exotic flavour to drinks.  The longer they spend in your drink the pinker it becomes making it a pleasure to sip slowly.



The Spanish style G&T can sometimes look like a salad in a balloon glass with a garden’s worth of garnishes.  One of those is the basil leaf.  Grab one or two leave, slap them against the back of your hand to release the aroma and drop them in your drink.  It brings notes of summer to your G&T and is best sipped al fresco bathed in sunshine.


Vanilla Pods

Vanilla pods make a great garnish with gins that have luscious, buttery mouthfeels.  These little sticks are flavour bombs and add both sweetness and sophistication to a G&T.



A slice of granny smith helps create a G&T that is lightly sweet, delicate and tiny bit floral.  Be sure to rub a cut lemon over each side to prevent it from browning.  If you are feeling adventurous, try to cut and arrange it into a fan for an even more fancy cocktail. 



Adding a sprig of mint to your G&T will add a freshness and vibrancy to it.  It’s best not to muddle your mint leaves as it may become bruised and bitter.  Just slap the leaves between your hands and drop it in your glass.  Mint also goes really well with cucumber or lemon.



For those who like to spice things up adding a slice or two to your gin drink can take it to the next level.  Adding a whole chilli makes a pretty picture but it doesn’t give you the same warm spicy hit that a carefully sliced chilli.  But to each their own. Try soaking a few slices in the gin before you make your G&T – that really can pack a punch.


The beauty of the above garnishes is that most of them can be foraged from your garden or found in the supermarket fresh food section or spices aisle.  For the our huge range of dried and dehydrated garnishes in packs and whole kits, check out our range HERE