The decorative, sometimes edible, embellishment floating atop your cocktail's glass rim are stepping up their game to more strange and unexpected substances. In many cases garnishes are included to provide added or contrasting flavor to the beverage at hand, while others are selected purely to augment the visual impact of the drink. No matter the rationale or reasoning, we’re digging the imaginative guest appearances accompanying some locally-made craft cocktails.

Among the few that put in as much effort on top the glass as what goes in it; MADEPangea Alchemy Lab and The Doctor’s Office standout with creative rim toppers. Over at Sage, beverage directors and bar managers, David Tlaiye and Cliseria Padilla curated uniquely-shaped sugar molds for Sage's award-winning cocktails. Imbibers, don't be alarmed to find a neon blue octopus tentacle hanging conspicuously from your matching blue libation. In reality, the surreal serpent leg is actually a blueberry and blue spirulina sugar mold—not just for show, but for an added vitamin dose of nutrient-dense sweetness. More fun garnishes from the Sage bartenders include dehydrated lemons and limes dyed with natural food coloring to make a rainbow of sliced citrus wheels, a lime fire bowl with cinnamon flair, smoked cinnamon sticks from the bar’s smoke chamber and a signature lightening-cut orange peel to jazz things up.

While taste will always take priority to makers and consumers alike, it doesn’t hurt that presentation, in the visually- and aesthetically- influenced world we live in today, makes the appeal of craft cocktail attire that much more Instagrammable #nofilter. SRQ 

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.