Take Your Cocktail Game To The Next Level With A Dried Citrus Slice

If you've ever been to a sophisticated cocktail bar, you've probably seen plenty of fancy drinks garnished with citrus. However, the most visually pleasing cocktails don't have a lime wedge slapped on the rim of their glass, but they often incorporate citrus in a different form — dried.

Although this garnish may look intimidating, dried citrus slices are incredibly easy to make. Plus, dehydration unlocks a great way to extend the shelf life of your fruit. If you own kitchen tools designed for the job, like a dehydrator, all you need to do to dehydrate your citrus is cut up the fruits and stick the slices inside. The process can take six to eight hours to complete, so if you aim to use them as a garnish at your next gathering, you will have to start early. If you don't have access to a dehydrator, use your oven. With this method, place the citrus slices on a tray and bake them at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until dried, which typically takes three to four hours. 

What cocktails work with a dehydrated citrus garnish?

There are only a few hard-and-fast rules for making drinks, which extends to garnishing them. When approaching home mixology, creativity is the key. Dried citrus slices or wedges can decorate almost any mixed drink you're making, but they make the most sense when paired with drinks that reflect their flavors. For example, you could use a wedge or slice of dried lime to garnish your go-to margarita recipe or top off your next Cosmopolitan. Replace the lemon or orange slices floating in an Aperol spritz with dried ones. Lay a dried lemon slice on top of a lemon drop martini, or dehydrate grapefruit slices to garnish a batch of palomas.

You can also get super creative with your flavor pairings and the types of citrus you decide to dehydrate. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are some of the more well-known citrus fruits, but many other regional and local citrus variations are accessible at grocery stores. Try looking for a blood orange and dry it instead of a regular orange, or use a dried key lime to add a different flavor to your next margarita or mojito.