From Stick to Sinker: Best Fruits to Add to Drinks

Assortment of drinks with fruit

A cold, refreshing drink – whether it’s a cocktail, an iced tea, or plain old glass of ice water – can easily be made more exciting with a little garnish or infusion of fruit. At Columbia Distributing, the Northwest’s premier beverage distributor, we believe in having a bit of fun every day. What better way to do that than by adding pizzazz to your drinks and cocktails? Here is a quick overview of some of the best fruits for drinks so you can jazz up your cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.

Cocktail Sticks with Cherries, Pineapples, or Other Fruits

You can serve virtually anything on a cocktail stick, but some fruits are better than others when it comes to pairing them with cocktails. The most important thing to consider is how the flavor will complement the drink you’re enjoying or serving to your guests. Cherries, for example, are a classic fruit garnish for many cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages alike. You’re not likely to find a bar that doesn’t have Maraschino cherries on hand. That’s because they pair well with a wide variety of drinks, including piña coladas, tequila sunrises, vodka sours, mai tais, manhattans, and more. The versatile cherry is often sunk to the bottom or dropped on top of a drink, but it can also be served alone or with other fruits, such as pineapple, on a cocktail stick.

Speaking of pineapple, that’s one of the best fruits you can choose to garnish a tropical drink with. Serving a spritzer or a sparkling water to your guests? Try adding a touch of flair by serving it with a stick of raspberries and lime. And if you’re making a drink that uses a flavored alcohol, such as green apple vodka, it’s a safe bet that a few chunks or slices of the same fruit will work well as a garnish.

Citrus Slices, Wedges, and Twists

Thin lemon slices aren’t just for water or iced tea, though that is a great use for them. Lemons are a classic cocktail garnish for a reason. They’re a great fruit for an array of drinks, including spritzers, martinis, lemon drops, Moscow mules, and more. Slices can be dropped right into drinks, wedges can be used to garnish glass rims, or twists can be added in a variety of ways to add a touch of flavor and fun. Pairing lemon with drinks is simple, as it is a good choice for anything with lemon flavor and clear alcohol, such as vodka-based and gin-based drinks.

What about other citrus fruits? Any drink that uses lime juice, such as a classic margarita, is a prime candidate for adding a garnish of lime. The same logic applies to any drink that’s made with orange juice. Screwdrivers, rum runners, hurricanes, mimosas, and any drink with a healthy dose of orange juice will go great with an orange wedge, slice, or twist.

Fruit Infusions

In the past couple of decades, fruit-infused waters and teas have become very popular, especially for serving at special events, spas, and even for health at home. Using some sort of straining method, such as cheesecloth or a water infuser that can be purchased anywhere you can find home goods, you can make delicious water or tea, often with the health benefits provided by the fruit. The possibilities for infusion are endless because water gives you a flavorless base to start with. That means you can use almost any fruit you can think of – from pineapple to strawberries to blackberries. Just remember, it may take harder fruits, such as apples, longer to reach full flavor.

Make Your Drinks Special with a Fruit Garnish or Infusion

Every good bartender has a few fruits on hand for garnishing drinks, including cherries, lemons, limes, oranges, and pineapples. With these classic fruits for drinks on hand, you’ll be able to craft exciting cocktails for all of your guests. And for those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, nothing is holding you back when it comes to choosing a delicious fruit for making infused water or iced tea. So, head to the store in search of the fruits, as well as the alcohol, mixers, and non-alcoholic beverages from Columbia Distributing, that will bring your drinks to the next level. To learn more about how we keep stores stocked in Oregon, Washington, and California with your favorite drinks, contact us today.