One of a few garnishes that add more aesthetic qualities than flavour or aroma. For that reason, fans will often be combined with other garnishes that contribute other flavours or aromas.
While there may be no flavour or aromatic reason to garnish with a fan, there are times when messing around making your drinks look pretty, just for the sake of it, IS time well spent. The first impression of how a drink will taste, is always after all with the eyes!
Apples are probably the most common fruit to be cut into a fan, but other options like pears or plums can also be cut and formed into fans.
Slice the apple, or whatever fruit you are using, in half from top to bottom. You don’t need to remove ‘cores’ from produce like apples, but you do need to remove stones in plums or other stone fruits.
Lay flat one half of your chosen fruit on a chopping board, and then, using a very sharp knife, slice from top to bottom, cutting the fruit into thin slices.
Discard the outer slice, it doesn’t work for a fan.
You want to use either 3 or 5 (7,9,11 etc…) slices to garnish with (always garnish with uneven numbers, as odd numbers are more attractive to the eye).
Finally, gently fan the slices out from the top of the stack of slices, while keeping the bottom of the stack in the same place.
Once formed into a fan shape, place it into the drink, using the ice and the rim of the glass to hold the fan together and upright. You can also use a cocktail stick to skewer the fan and hold it in place.