Pomp & Circumstance

Has to go put an end to the garnish game?

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Boozy Pimm's Cup cocktail garnished with strawberries, cucumber, and mint.
Don't try this (garnish) at home. / Brent Hofacker © 123RF.com

That Manhattan without the Luxardo cherry? Or a Pimm’s Cup without the medley of fruit, mint, and cucumber? Some garnishes simply make the drink. At the Arvada Tavern, co-owner Mike Huggins explains the bar’s philosophy on to-go flair, which includes recognizing which details don’t translate to the at-home experience. “Like the flaming orange peel,” he says. “We wouldn’t have anybody try to do that.”

  1. Limit the menu: We keep our offerings in mind so that we can cross-utilize as many ingredients as possible.
  2. Limit cost: We look for ways to be the most cost-effective (we are still running a business).
  3. Offer something more or different: Find a way to stand out and make it a unique experience. We offer cocktail and large-format ice cubes.
  4. It doesn’t always have to be fresh: When we consider to-go garnishes, we try to use dehydrated fruit or nonperishable items.
  5. Consider the packaging: Labels, instructions, and extras make it effortless for the guest to enjoy the total experience.

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