tipos de guarniciones - garnishes for your martini

In cocktails, the types of garnish are endless! Here are 14 garnishes for your Martini, from fruits to veggies and more.

When you are in the mood for a sophisticated, classy and timeless cocktail, there is nothing better than a Martini. Whether you like vodka or gin, neat or on the rocks, the type of garnish is almost as important as the cocktail itself.

While, of course, these final garnishes do wonders to make a Martini look professional and polished, there’s more to it than pure aesthetics. Ultimately, a Martini is not complete without a garnish. Although they may seem simple, different types of garnish have the power to completely transform our cocktail, in this case the Martini taking it from salty and savory to citrusy and bright in an instant.

Olives and lemon shells are just the beginning. Whether you’re stuck in a martini rut or just need a little inspiration, we’re here to share 14 types of garnishes for your next martini.


How to upgrade a Martini with different types of garnish


Espresso beans

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography

If a savory drink isn’t your thing-and you prefer Martinis of the espresso variety-there’s only one type of garnish that will work for a cocktail that has as much to do with caffeine as it does with alcohol. We’re talking about espresso beans. An Espresso Martini recipe isn’t complete until the cocktail is garnished with a few coffee beans.

When we say a few, we mean three, to be exact, and it’s not just a matter of aesthetics. According to tradition, the trifecta represents health, wealth and happiness, so omitting a bean would constitute a cocktail crime.

A good Espresso Martini will have a nice layer of foam on top, so the beans will float on the surface of the drink and contrast nicely with that lovely white foam. Although the beans are technically edible and can be nice to chew on, most people don’t choose to consume them, so this garnish is more about appearance and tradition than utility.



Photo by Antony Trivet

The combination of Martini and caviar results in a very sophisticated drink. Fortunately, when you’re feeling elegant, this pairing is delicious. It’s also one of the few cases where we would recommend using a chilled bottle of vodka as the base for the Martini.

Think of it this way: Vodka and caviar are a regular pairing, and swapping vodka shots for an elegant Martini can make enjoying both the liquor and the black gold (caviar’s nickname) even better.

The caviar is salty and rich, with aromatic notes of the sea. It is also surprisingly buttery, and these flavors cut through and enhance the intensity of the vodka like a charm. We recommend that you save it for a special occasion. Be sure not to serve the caviar in a metal bowl, as this could adversely affect its flavor.



By now, you’re probably not surprised when we recommend a salty, briny morsel as a garnish for your next Martini. This time, it’s everyone’s favorite bivalve foodie favorite: oysters. These choppable, slurpable gems of the sea are ideal for more than just happy hour, as they can be a unique finishing touch to your martini.

Photo by Elle Hughes

If you’re thinking of using oysters in your Martinis, know that the sky’s the limit when it comes to incorporating these tasty mollusks into your cocktails. Whether you want to go all out and infuse your vermouth with oysters or simply let them wash down your glass, you can choose your own seafood and liquor pairing adventure with this one. It’s also a good idea to serve these creative concoctions alongside a plate of raw oysters with all the trimmings.



As we have already said, the types of garnish for a Martini represent more than just adding a nice finishing touch.

What are tinctures? Tinctures are concentrated flavor extracts that can be used as a garnish to add flavor to a Martini (or any cocktail). Tinctures are made by infusing a neutral, high-proof grain spirit (e.g., Everclear) with various ingredients. Ideas for martini-friendly tinctures include concentrates containing herbs, olive oil, citrus peels and spices.

Not something everyone has on hand in the fridge, but reputable cocktail bars (and home cocktail experts) often make homemade tinctures to add to their creations.

A dropper or atomizer can be used to impart the flavor of a tincture into a martini, and doing so enhances both the flavor and aroma of the drink. When sipping a Martini, what you smell is almost as important as what you taste, so even a light misting of a concentrated elixir can completely change the Martini drinking experience.


Garnishes for your Martini: Vegetables and Fruits


Green olives

Photo by Stanislav Ivanitskiy on Unsplash

Let’s start with the basics: Green olives are probably what you think of when you picture a classic Martini – and these savory bites are a staple for a reason.

Unlike many cocktails, Martinis aren’t inherently sweet. Clean, smooth, and slightly herbaceous are more accurate qualifiers for this well-loved drink, and a salty green olive enhances the savory notes of a Martini.

While any green olive will do, if you’re making the drink at home, we recommend shelling out a little extra cash to buy the best olives for Martinis, which in our opinion are Castelvetranos or Cerignolas. You can add green olives to any type of Martini: classic, wet, dry, perfect, and dirty, all are improved with the addition of an olive.

One bartender’s tidbit to keep in mind when adding olives to your drink is that garnishing with two is considered bad luck. This means you should limit yourself to adding one or three.


Blue cheese-stuffed olives

If you want something that’s a little more adventurous than a standard green olive, try opting for the blue cheese variety instead. Blue cheese provides a perfect complement to the invigorating saltiness of green olives. The creamy texture of the cheese makes it a delicious bite when you reach the end of your Martini and are ready to enjoy a salty appetizer.

Now, some cocktail purists argue that adding a blue cheese olive (or any type of stuffed olive, for that matter) detracts from the integrity of the pure flavor of a Martini. And while it’s true that adding blue cheese olives adds a significant amount of flavor to the drink, we think that as long as you enjoy what you’re drinking, there’s no “wrong” way to garnish your drink.

Plus, adding a flavorful garnish like a blue cheese olive softens the intensity of the drink and makes the cocktail more enjoyable for those who don’t like the direct taste of gin or vodka.


Pickled onion

Savory drink lovers, this is for you. Adding a pickled onion to a martini will not only make you feel like you’re drinking a cocktail from another era, but it will also transform a typical Martini into a variation called a Gibson. Ordering a Gibson at a cocktail bar is bold, mature, and a little old-fashioned, and that’s pretty much what this drink tastes like.

While the dry vermouth in the Martini mellows the flavor, it also contains savory notes that are accentuated by garnishes like pickled onions. Some people may find it a little difficult to think about adding something as spicy as pickled onions to a cocktail. Opt for this garnish if you’re looking for a little crunch, a little umami, and a lot of sophistication to a classic Martini.


Lemon Twist

A lemon twist is another garnish to turn to for a classic Martini, and it’s an option you can rely on at any bar or restaurant where you can get your hands on one. Don’t be fooled by the fancy-sounding jargon: a lemon twist is just a piece of lemon peel in cocktail parlance.

The important thing to remember is that it’s not about simply dropping the zest into the drink or resting it on the rim of the glass. Instead, you have to “squeeze” it over the Martini, which means you have to hold it peel-side down over the drink and then twist it to release the oils from the rind. Next, rub the peel around the rim of the glass, add it to the Martini, and voila! You’ll have a perfectly executed drink with a twist.

Opting for a twist adds a touch of acidity and brightness that can make this alcohol-laden drink more drinkable. It can add a layer of flavor to an otherwise relatively neutral vodka, enhance the citrus notes of gin and boost the flavorful botanicals of dry vermouth.


Orange Twist

This isn’t necessarily common, but there are people out there who enjoy adding an orange twist to their martini instead of the standard lemon twist. The idea here is essentially the same – opting for orange adds some much-needed brightness and an aromatic dose of citrus flavor to an otherwise overwhelmingly alcoholic drink. Treat it as you would a twist of lemon and squeeze it over your drink, and you’ll have a martini that doesn’t lack acidity.

Preferably use gins that have notes of orange (as you would expect) or even orange blossom. You can also use an orange twist with a vodka martini, but we think gin is a much more appropriate pairing.

We’re not going to lie, the main reason you’d probably resort to an orange twist is if you don’t have a lemon on hand, but sometimes necessity is the mother of invention, so we encourage you to keep an open mind. You never know when you’ll discover a garnish that will change the way you drink martinis.


Grapefruit Twist

A grapefruit twist is another good option for when you want to add a little sparkle to your martini. Grapefruit is bitter, tart, and refreshing, and is also a prominent flavor note in some gins.

Opting for a grapefruit twist is a great way to change up your martini routine, without venturing into totally unfamiliar territory. You’ll still get the juicy aromas you know and love from lemony martinis, but with an added layer of flavor and visual interest.

We highly recommend sticking to gin martinis for this one, pink gin is the perfect bottle to turn to if you’re interested in topping off your drink with this garnish. Generally, pink gins are infused with grapefruit, lemon, and other botanicals, so adding an extra splash of grapefruit makes for a perfect cocktail.

Grapefruit also pairs well with rosemary, so you can also look for herb-heavy gins.


Dehydrated fruit

While we don’t recommend it for classic martinis, there are some variations of the drink for which dried fruit is the perfect garnish. Sometimes you want something a little lighter, sweeter, and fruitier than the traditional version, and there are plenty of recipes out there that will satisfy your craving for a classy cocktail without overwhelming your palate with alcohol.

One of our favorites is the French Martini, which contains a pleasantly fruity blend of pineapple juice, raspberry liqueur, and vodka.

Appletinis and lemon drops are also variations of the martini best suited for those who want a more approachable drink and dried apple and dried lemon can be used to garnish these versions.

Photo by Ahtziri Lagarde on Unsplash



If your initial reaction to the idea of adding a pickle to your martini was extreme skepticism, don’t worry. The concept becomes much less far-fetched when you think about how well olives work in the same context. Both are salty, briny, and ideal for turning an ordinary martini into a complex and flavorful drink.

Finishing a Martini with pickles not only adds a delicious saltiness but also an addictive hint of acidity from the vinegar in which the pickles are preserved.

You can make your Dirty Martini “dirty” with pickle juice instead of olive brine. The best part is that you can use any type of pickle.

From herbaceous dills to invigorating sweet and sour to cute, tiny cornichons, almost any variety can be used in a Martini. You can even go bold with a spicy pickle for a spicier twist. Crunchy appetizers go great with Martinis.


Pickled vegetables

If we’ve already convinced you to try adding pickled gherkins to your Martinis, let’s go out on a limb and ask you to dive further into the exciting world of garnishes with other varieties of pickled vegetables. All it takes is vinegar, salt, sugar, and a few spices to pickle just about anything, and just about any type of pickle can be used as a garnish for a Martini.

Photo by little plant on Unsplash

Ramps, carrots, green beans, okra, etc., can be tossed into the glass as a crunchy, tasty treat to enjoy with the drink. In addition, you can serve a plate of pickled vegetables as a perfect complement to the cocktail hour.



Adding a little spice to your Martini makes for a really spicy drink.

Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash

However, we’re not talking about adding raw jalapeño slices to your drink. Rather, this is another example of how pickling is your friend when it comes to garnishing Martinis. Pickled cherry peppers add a deliciously spicy kick. Not to mention, the hint of bright red adds a striking visual element that will make you want to show off your precious drink.

Hot peppers aren’t your only option. You can take your Martini in a milder direction by garnishing it with a pepperoncino, which is a mild and sweet pickled bell pepper.


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Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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