When it comes to garnishing, it is a good idea to either use something that is already present in the drink, or to use an ingredient that would complement the flavour of the drink. For example, you can use pineapples or coconuts to garnish a piña colada, or use sweet cherries to garnish an acidic tropical drink containing oranges or lemons.
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Coconuts epitomise all things tropical, and in addition to evoking images of swaying coconut palms on white beaches, also have plenty of potential as a garnish for a tropical drink. You can cut out small, neat wedges of coconuts, cut a slit in the middle, and stick these onto the rim of a glass. Another great way to use coconuts for garnish is to turn your serving glass upside down, dip its rim in a plate that contains a shallow layer of thick fruit syrup, and then dip it into a plate filled with fine coconut shavings – this way, the coconut will create a feathery cover on the rim of the glass, which will add to both the visual appeal, and the flavour of the drink.
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Most fruity drinks generally fall under the category of tropical beverages, and for this purpose, using fruit slices as a garnish is only fitting. Pineapple wedges are a great choice, but small pieces of other fruits, like kiwis and mangoes, can also be used to evoke a tropical feel. Small whole strawberries also serve as a popular garnish for tropical drinks. Aside from the more fruity options, the quintessential lemon or lime wedge works great for drinks like mojitos.
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Use props – these add a playful dimension to drinks. The cocktail umbrella is the most common example, but other props include fancy straws, or tiny beach hats propped onto the tops of stirring straws and sticks. You can also use bright, tropical flowers like hibiscus, etc. However, just make sure these remain on the rim and do not have any contact with the actual drink.