A cocktail pick, also called a cocktail stick, is often used in bars as a skewer to spear garnish fruits for cocktails. It's a thin, elongated piercing tool with a decorative handle at the top. A cocktail pick can come in different sizes, ranging between 2.5 - 6 inches. The spear part is usually round, sometimes also flat-oval, or angular. It holds the decoration on your cocktail. You can either remove it before drinking or eat it if you're up to that. This article contains everything you need to know about Cocktail picks.
How long is a cocktail pick?
As mentioned already, the length of a cocktail pick can vary widely - usually between 2.5 - 6 inches. Standard cocktail picks are between 4.5 - 5 inches long, including the decorative end. The decorative item at the top is usually around 1 inch long, so the actual cocktail stick measures between 3.5 and 4 inches.
Depending on how you want to use it, you might want to look for longer or shorter versions. For example, you might want to lay the cocktail pick on top of a glass. So you should check the diameter of your glass and make sure the cocktail pick can comfortably sit on the rim without falling into your glass.
How thick is a cocktail pick?
It does not matter if your cocktail pick is wooden, plastic, metal, or bamboo: the standard thickness is around 0,1 inch (or 2.5 mm). That way, the cocktail stick is thin enough to spear olives, cherries, or raspberries while it is still strong enough not to break while preparing the decoration. Especially bamboo and plastic picks tend to crack sometimes, for instance, when facing a rebellious olive.
Best Material for cocktail picks
Cocktail picks also come in all kinds of materials: bamboo, wood, plastic, glass, and metal. My preference is to aim for a pick that has a metal stick, the decorative handle can be different Material. This way you'll be sure you can use them many, many times. Most other materials are either too fragile or are intended for one-time use. But to give you an overview, those are your usual choices:
- Bamboo Pick: The cheapest ones are usually bamboo sticks which are supposed to be used only once.
- Wooden Cocktail Pick: An alternative is a wooden cocktail pick, which is quite similar to the bamboo version.
- Plastic Cocktail Pick: There's a chance that you can use them multiple times. Just be aware that they're prone to crack - Depending on price and quality. I would not buy plastic cocktail picks as they are not the environmentally friendliest solution.
- Glass Pick: Very delicate, mostly handmade, and truly unique. Using a glass stick is a sophisticated way to pierce your cocktail garnish. Naturally, you have to be very cautious and treat them with care otherwise it won't last very long.
- Metal Cocktail Pick: Very robust and come in many designs. The all-metal picks are a perfect choice for your home bar. They can be used many times and are easily cleaned.
What to put on a cocktail stick
The sky is the limit. There are endless possibilities, but the classics would be cherries, olives, raspberries, grapes, and also flowers. However, don't be afraid to be creative, cocktail picks with the speared garnish can elevate your cocktail in a fancy way. Think about your cocktail and its ingredients to find out what could complement or enhance its flavors.