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Sweet dessert drink garnish ideas for the holidays

Posted by Jaime Fowler on

Dessert drink garnish ideas for the holidays from The Pursuit of Cocktails

2020 is weird y'all! And with the holidays looming - no judgement if you already have your Christmas tree up pre-Thanksgiving - I think we all deserve to "treat yo self" this year. With that in mind I'm bringing you a bunch of non-traditional, dessert-worthy drink garnish ideas. These are perfect for hot drinks like hot cocoa or coffee, whether you choose to add booze to your's or not is up to you. I'll be topping mine off with a little RumChata or Baileys because I've been extra good this year. 😉

To kick things off, I'm adapting one of my favorite holiday traditions - dipping things in chocolate - to make a festive drink garnish for hot cocoa.

Chocolate dipped marshmallows with festive sprinkles:

Holiday Swizzly cocktail stick with chocolate dipped marshmallow

These chocolate dipped marshmallows are deceptively simple to make and super easy to customize to any occasion or preference. I chose to use red and green sprinkles that I picked up from the holiday baking section at Target but you could use crushed peppermints, Pop Rocks, M&Ms, crumbled graham crackers for a 'smores themed marshmallow, anything you want. 
 Chocolate dipped marshmallow drink garnish using a holiday Swizzly

Personally, I love to dip anything in chocolate. I find the process so soothing and if you use the good melting chocolate - aka these Ghiradelli melting wafers - it comes out so pretty with such little effort.

To make these chocolate dipped marshmallows, set up a double boiler - or if you're like me, rig one together using a sauce pan and a metal bowl. The key is to make sure the water in your pan does not touch the bottom of your bowl or the chocolate can start to scorch and break apart. The Ghiradelli melting wafers are the most forgiving chocolate to work with so I always use them even though they are a touch more expensive, they are totally worth it. 

Once you have your set-up in place slowly warm your chocolate keeping a close eye on it. Once it starts to get melty, keep stirring it until it is a smooth consistency and will drip off your spatula. 

Now you are ready to dip. I generally do a combination of dipping and spreading the chocolate on with my spatula to get the thickness and looking I'm going for. Next add your toppings while the chocolate is still warm then set aside on waxed paper and move on to your next marshmallow.

Melting Ghiradelli melting wafers to make chocolate dipped marshmallow drink garnishes for the holidays

These are so easy to make but they are a showstopper that everyone will comment on. Cheers to easy entertaining!

Other dessert garnish ideas:

If you don't feel like making something there are tons of pre-made desserts that  you can easily pick up and will work for your drink garnishes. Look for things that are at least 1/2" or more thick and are pretty soft so you'll easily be able to add them to your Swizzlys™ or cocktail picks. Too thin and they'll split and crumble off your stick. Too hard and you'll stab yourself or break your stick trying to drive it in - ask me how I know that. 😜

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Trader Joe's Truffles - I highly recommend these with coffee. Bonus points if you dunk it in the coffee. It is heaven!! 

Trader Joe's truffles as cocktail garnish for boozy coffee using a holiday Swizzly

  • Mini donuts - any flavor would work

Mini donut as drink garnish on a holiday Swizzly from The Pursuit of Cocktails

  • Chocolate covered pretzels - these would be fun to hang from a Swizzly or cocktail pick
  • Cake pops
  • Mini muffins
  • Brownie bites
  • Gummy candies - look for ones that are thicker so you'll have room to push the stick through
  • Carmel dipped apple slices - I have a blog post using these coming up after Thanksgiving  
  • Fudge
  • Rice Krispy treats
  • Chocolate dipped fruit like strawberries or pineapple
  • Mini cream puffs
  • Mini cinnamon rolls

I hope this gives you some new drink garnishing ideas. If you try any of these dessert garnishes or have other ideas to share I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

See you next week cocktail lovers. Cheers! 

Visit The Pursuit of Cocktails shop

Pick up a set of the holiday themed Swizzlys I used in this post from my shop.


garnish Ready-to-drink cocktail review Trader Joe's

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