Out of all things garnish, a slice of citrus is by far the easiest way to elevate a beverage. The lime is the most versatile of the family and a great staple to have on hand – add it to a Gin & Tonic, Vodka/Soda, even a glass of ice-cold Coca Cola. Ta da! You’ve just added color, scent, and flavor to a sad, rail drink. Because this is how my brain works: cue Drake’s ‘Started from the Bottom’ ….
Okay, you back? A wedge of orange is another classic move. Some cocktails, like an Old Fashioned, depend on it. While cutting an orange and dropping a wedge into a glass sounds pretty self explanatory, there is an additional step you could take to turn your orange slice into the talk of the town: light it on fire. Torching a sugared piece of citrus is incredibly satisfying and leaves you with a caramelized masterpiece to top your beverage. A candied orange is the perfect holiday touch to accompany a Gin & Tonic. We would argue that you also could replace the orange slice in an Old Fashioned with a brûléed slice, but Old Fashioned purists would probably tell you otherwise.
If you do indeed want to set your citrus on fire, follow along below:
- An Orange
- Wax Paper + Baking Sheet + Knife
- Kitchen Torch – you can typically find these online or in stores for under $15 bucks
The Process \
Slice your orange into thin wheels or half wheels. You want the orange segments to show in the slice, so cut against the grain!
Layout the slices on a baking sheet with wax paper. You might end up torching the paper every once in a while, but that’s better than cleaning caramel off a baking sheet
Spoon sugar onto each slice – be generous!
Turn on your torch! Hover over each wedge until the sugar has bubbled into a caramelized layer, golden brown in color
And that’s it! Drop a slice on top of a beverage and enjoy! Brûléed citrus follows the ‘use it or lose it’ policy, so don’t make more wedges than you will use. If you’re preparing a full batch for a get together, save the torching for the last practical minute and store on layered wax paper. Because the slices are so visually enchanting, appreciators sometimes forget to eat the garnish itself – obviously these are 100% edible, eat them if you’d like!