A thin lemon or orange peel, twist, or slice is simplicity at its finest. You can never go wrong with something that refined. However, when making cocktails for a large group, go for dehydrated citrus and/or flowers instead. With a mandolin, slice your citrus paperthin and dry in a low oven or with a dehydrator (as I do) until your fruit is crisp. Dehydrated citrus—as long as there is no hint of water left in the fruit—will keep for a very long time. What would you rather do when working fast? Cut and curl lemon peels, or just pop a dried citrus slice into your craft cocktail?
Other easy flourishes are fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, or mint, or smallish berries (blueberries, cranberries) that can be quickly dropped in.
A housemade dehydrated citrus garnish atop the gin-based “Cordelia Chase” cocktail by the author. Photo by Kathleen Stoehr
Catersource loved the “herb garden” Jägermeister set up for guests at a recent hosted luncheon. Pluck the herbs of your choice, then have the bartender use them to muddle and/or garnish into your beverage. Photo by Kathleen Stoehr