An NFG is like a FNG IN THAT IT IS ANOYING. An NFG is a “Non Functioning Garnish.” Chefs call an NFG anything that you put on the plate that you don’t eat or that doesn’t serve a purpose for aroma. Cooking District has a good list of the common culprits here. If you see these upon your plate, you’ll be certain that you are in the restaurant of a lazy, insipid, ass-clown.
But for cocktails, the rules are a bit different. You can take a functional garnish, like a lemon zest, and by having not expressed its oils; you have rendered it an NFG. Other NFGs in the cocktail world are:
- Sinkers– a liqueur dripped to the bottom of the glass, not to add flavor or aroma
- Wheels– Am I supposed to eat this lime or just not smell it?
- Rinse– Pour flavor in the glass to season it and then pour money out of the glass to avoid too much flavor
- Sugar Rim– hey, dum-dum, don’t add, aroma-less, crunchy things to the outside of a glass that also unbalance the drink
I am not a killjoy. Let me go on record as saying I am 100% behind plastic mermaids getting saucy with the side of a cocktail glass BUT that stuff is only for those that have gone through the looking glass. Like a fino sherry, gin and a bit of dry vermouth, a mermaid would swim in those salty seas and add levity to that doughty cocktail.