Growing Your Own Garnishes
Garnishes are the perfect way to spruce up any drink or dish. Citrus and berries are classic options, but edible flowers and herbs can take you one step further. The best part? Most edible flowers and herbs are easy to grow on your own! Below is a list of our favourite garden grown garnishes, tips on how to grow them, and of course their best flavour pairings.
Hibiscus is one of the more common edible flowers. The flower offers a balanced, slightly tart flavour, similar to that of a pomegranate. It is perfect for garnishing a tropical tasting cocktail or summer salad, as well as brewing into tea!
Hibiscus prefers to grow in full sun but can manage in partial sun. Moist soil, that never completely dries out, will give you the best results for the perennial variety and moist but well-drained soil is best for tropical varieties.
Similar to their beautiful colours, marigold petals have a slight citrus flavour. The leaves, however, have a rather spicy flavour that is better to avoid. Bold coloured marigolds look beautiful in ice cubes and on baked goods as well as make a perfect garnish for any citrus forward cocktail.
Marigolds thrive in full sun and warm temperatures. Give marigolds a deep watering but allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again to avoid root rot and other moisture based plant diseases.
Roses are a classic edible flower available in a variety of stunning colours! They typically have a slightly sweet floral flavour but each variety is slightly different. Fresh petals can be used to garnish just about any cocktail or muddled to add a more dynamic flavour. Dried petals make stunning decorations for baked goods and look beautiful when stuck to the outside of a glass.
Rose bushes are an easier perennial to care for than you may think. They don’t need full sun, but do prefer 5+ hours a day. Roses need well-drained soil and prefer a little help from organic matters added to the soil.
Using zinnias is more about the aesthetic than the flavour, but they are too beautiful to leave off this list! They are rather bitter, so not quite as tasty as some other garnishes on this list, however, can pair nicely with a drink on the sweeter side and will look stunning garnishes any drink or dish.
Zinnias like a lot of sun, preferably 6+ hours a day. They also like very moist soil so try to water them deeply every few days and ensuring it never dries out below the top two inches.
Mint is refreshing, versatile, and easy to use as a garnish. It pairs nicely with sweeter drinks and dishes to help balance the flavours but can be used in savoury dishes as well. Watermelon salad, mojitos, and lemonade are perfect for pairing with the tasty herb.
Mint is a fast growing, easy to care for, and tasty plant! It comes in many varieties with most preferring well-drained soil and partial shade. Mint will rapidly regrow leaves as well as add a few more with every plucking.
Basil has both a sweet and savoury taste, starting off a bit like mint but ending with a more peppery flavour. Muddle your basil for extra flavour or pair it with lime and garnish classic cocktails like a vodka soda or gin and tonic.
While basil loves warm weather, it prefers a bit of shade throughout the day to prevent over-wilting. Keep the soil moist, and your basil plant should grow rather quickly.
Adding garnishes to your next cocktail or salad is easy! Regardless of which you use, you’ll love the extra aesthetic added to any drink or dish.