Everything You Need to Create a Gin and Tonic Garnish Bar for a Cheerful Cocktail Party

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Image Credit: Stephen Paul for Hunker

Whether we're talking frozen yogurt or craft cocktails, one thing holds true: the toppings are (nearly) as important as the main event.

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This season, don't settle for paper cups and two-gallon mixer set-ups. It's time to go all out, which means scrapping your average pouring station and creating an elevated gin and tonic garnish bar — to accompany your ultra-refreshing Bombay Sapphire gin, of course.

"The beauty of a Bombay & Tonic is that it really is a bright canvas for you to be creative with," says Ryan Wainwright, North American brand ambassador for Bombay. "My only suggestion is to work with complimentary flavors — if you're in a citrus mood, think about balancing that lemon, lime, grapefruit, or even orange with an herbaceous note." And if you're leaning toward fruit flavors, he suggests throwing in a little spice to round it out.

Really the options are limitless, but there is one important rule Wainwright says to keep in mind when making the perfect Bombay and Tonic: Customize it for each person. That's why a colorful spread featuring delicious, drink-enhancing garnishes is the ideal way to say cheers at your next seasonal get-together.

As long as you're making it the way you love, that's all that really matters, Wainwright adds. Want a recipe to put your new garnish bar to good use? Try this Spiced Apple Bombay & Tonic, and then scroll down to gather all the accoutrements you need for an A+ presentation.

Image Credit: Stephen Paul for Hunker

Spiced Apple B & T

  • 1.5 oz BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin
  • 3 oz apple juice
  • 3 oz premium tonic water
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

Combine Bombay, apple juice, tonic water, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cinnamon into your favorite balloon glass. If you don't have the individual spices, you can substitute them for two pinches of pumpkin pie spice. Garnish with some thin slices of apple (or anything else from your garnish bar).

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Image Credit: Stephen Paul for Hunker

Edible garnishes + Bombay Sapphire, $22.99+

First order of business for setting up your garnish bar is the garnishes, obviously. Start with fruits like lemons, limes, orange, apples, and raspberries (chop or thinly slice everything but the raspberries), then arrange herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, candied ginger, and cinnamon sticks into small bowls, and you'll have everything you need for customizable cocktails.

They'll be the perfect complement to the natural, 100% sustainably sourced botanicals in Bombay Sapphire, which you should also have in good supply along with plenty of tonic water and ice.

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Globe Outdoor String Lights, $34.95

Nothing sets a festive mood more than a set of string lights, and these clear mini globes are simple, but create that warm, hygge aesthetic we're always after this time of year.

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Marine Brass Trays, $228

Have you seen a cooler tray before? Us either. With its glossy enamel finish and brass on the underside, it's an effortless way to showcase your garnishes.

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Ridgecrest Gin Goblet, $5.95

Cheers-ing might not ever feel the same with a regular glass once you clank this festive-yet-fun gin goblet. Pour your B&T over plenty of ice, and don't forget to have fun with the colorful topics.

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Eco Dinner Candle Set, $54.49

Give your bar area some glowy vibes with these stylish hand-poured candles. They come in a variety of colors and have an eight-hour burn time, so they'll keep glowing for as long as the party is going.

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Anndason Set of 6 Gold Candlestick Holders, $36.88

These golden candlestick holders have the same high-brow vibes as the goblets to add an element of class to your soiree (even if it was a last-minute get-together). Add your colorful candle set to these formal-looking holders for a mismatched, chic look.

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Louise Brass & Enamel Bowl, $66

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These lightweight brass bowls that have enamel interior coating to make them food-safe for filling with garnishes galore.

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Fortessa Malcolm Double Old Fashioned Cocktail Glasses, $47.37

Bring some color and texture into your set-up with these pool-blue, old-fashioned cocktail glasses. With a retro 50's feel and fun beading, these will instantly add personality to your next shin-dig.

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