As a brief follow-up to last week's garnish instruction, I wanted to point out a couple more simple ways to prepare a citrus peel garnish.
This week you'll master the rustic swath and the dainty spiral.
What you'll need:
- One fresh piece of citrus fruit, preferably organic. (Last week's warning about pesticides and citrus wax still stands.)
- Y-shaped vegetable peeler
- Channel knife (also included on some zesters)
- Cocktail pick, skewer, or something similar.
Suppose you want a rustic swath of peel instead of a trim twist. This is so easy, even your drunken uncle could do it.
What you'll do:
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel off a wide strip of zest, from one pole of the fruit to the other.
- Twist the zest over your cocktail to express the oils. Discard it or garnish, as you please.
This twist requires a little more finesse. You might ask your uncle to step away from the home bar and let you take over.
What you'll do:
- Using a channel knife, carefully cut a thin strip of peel in a spiral around the fruit. It takes some practice for most people to keep from prematurely cutting through the peel, so don't fret if the first strip you cut isn't perfect.
- Take the strip of peel and twist it around the shaft of a cocktail pick or barbecue skewer.
- Pull the strip taut around the pick or skewer. (Be careful not to break the strip!)
- You should wind up with a spiral of lemon peel, like this:
- Place provocatively on the edge of your glass and enjoy.
About the Author: Michael Dietsch writes A Dash of Bitters. He is an accidental bartender, boozologist, and liqueur auteur. He lives with a spirited female and crazy felines in Providence.
More Cocktail Technique
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.