Citrus Wheels, Wedges & Slices
Although these may not be complex techniques, without paying the sufficient amount of attention, they can easily, and for no good reason, turn out looking hideous; like they’d been chewed rather than cut into shape.
So, we’re just going to give you a few simple and clear pointers to make sure your drinks always look their best.
To add visual impact and also to add flavour, as they either infuse or are squeezed into the drink.
WASH your fruit –
The fruit garnish is going in or on your drink, which means you need to ensure it’s safe for consumption. Any wax coating the fruit is also something you want to make sure you remove in the process.
DON’T PEEL –
The peel is needed for structural integrity of your slice / wheel, as well as for visual impact, and it’s where the important essential oils live.
SLICE OR WHEEL? –
It’s down to personal choice, but there are a few things to consider such as, the SIZE OF THE GLASS v THE SIZE OF THE FRUIT. Clearly, a wheel of grapefruit is going to be a lot bigger than a wheel of lime.
HOW THICK YOU SLICE YOUR FRUIT –
You never want a thick slice, but if you’re careful, and cut your fruit really fine, you can bend it attractively to the shape of the glass instead of having it on top of the glass. This also allows you to use larger fruits in smaller glasses for more impact.
Don’t forget that adding fruit may also impact the taste of the drink. The fresh sweetness of an orange slice as it soaks into a Negroni truly brings it to life.
You need a SHARP knife –
You can’t cut fine, elegant and consistent slices without a sharp knife. In most cases, a sharp serrated paring knife is perfect. Please don’t use a steak knife, unless it’s a choice between a steak knife and a butter knife!
Don’t shove SLICED fruit onto the RIM OF YOUR GLASS –
Don’t ram or smear fruit onto the rim of your glass, it’s not very elegant. It’s also not doing your drink any favours and will make it look unsightly.
In some instances, a whole wedge can be added, this allows the drinker to add the juice into their own drink as they see fit. In this case, cut a neat and tidy wedge, then serve it delicately on top of the ice in the drink, not smooshed onto the rim.
Wedges are useful for adding a splash of fresh citrus when making drinks too. However, if you are squeezing the wedge, do so, then discard it and garnish with a fresh wedge, slice or wheel of fruit. Of course, in more relaxed circumstances, it’s perfectly fine to squeeze a wedge into a drink and then drop it in as the garnish too, it just won’t look as pretty.