garnish Feed

Rooftop Gardening, Beekeeping, Composting for the Bar at Charlie Parker's in Sydney

Charlie Parker's is a cocktail bar downstairs from restaurant Fred's in Sydney, Australia. Above both of them is a rooftop garden where they have a 20,000-resident beehive, lots of edible produce, and composting. Our compost bins take care of 90% of all bar waste and our top to tail plastic free approach has seen major success from exclusively using grain straws (or no straws), to all drink prep being stored in food safe mason jars that double as epic sous vide vessels. Our garnishes are made out of the by products from our preps and, our citrus soda is the... Read more →


Testing Color Retention Strategies in Citrus Wheels, Part 3

Many bars make dehydrated citrus wheels as garnish because they don't readily spoil and there are no leftovers if a whole fruit isn't used at the end of a night as with fresh. I have been attempting to make better-looking wheels. First I tried blanching citrus before dehydrating. This didn't make great wheels once they were dehydrated. I also candied some wheels after blanching. These were more attractive but a lot of work and now that garnish for a cocktail will have lots of sugar. In a second set of experiments I tried covering lime wheels with tonic water (because... Read more →


Dehydrated Citrus Wheel Garnish - Fast Versus Slow Dehydration

In a Facebook conversation about making nicer-looking dehydrated citrus wheels, Jessey Qi posted a picture; a comparison of citrus wheels on a higher heat setting in a dehydrator versus a lower one. I think the "low and slow" ones on the bottom look much better than the burned-looking ones on top. So if your food dehydrator (or oven) offers multiple settings and you can set it below 200F/95C, then that's worth a try to make fresher-looking citrus wheels for long-lasting garnishes. Read more →


Testing Color Retention Strategies in Citrus Wheels, Part 2

Many bars choose to use dehydrated citrus wheels instead of fresh ones to use as garnish in cocktails. As drying out the citrus preserves the wheels, there is no waste at the end of the night. However, some customers do not enjoy the look of ones that are toasted to a brown color. I decided to try my hand at dehydrating/preserving some lime wheels in various ways to see if I could make them retain a lively bright green color while preserving them. (Spoiler: I have not succeeded.) My home dehydrator has only one setting, and it seems pretty hot... Read more →


Make candied citrus peels from oleo saccharum

Oleo saccharum is citrus sugar extracted from citrus peels. You can then take those sugar-coated peels and put them in a food dehydrator to make dried candied peels as a garnish or snack. Simply: Peel citrus Cover peels with sugar and let sit overnight. The sugar will pull out citrus oils and turn into syrup The next day or two, use your fingers and wipe off the syrup from the peels and place in a dehydrator (or in your oven on the lowest setting) Reserve the flavored sugar syrup to use in cocktails. I use mine in Old Fashioneds (orange... Read more →


Testing Blanched Citrus Wheels for Color Retention in Dehydrated Garnishes

In many online recipes for candied citrus peels, the directions include blanching the citrus in boiling and then freezing water several times in order to "reduce bitterness and retain color." I wondered if the color-retaining properties would carry over to dehydrated citrus wheels, which are a popular way to garnish cocktails with less waste than fresh citrus wheels - as leftover wheels and partially-cut citrus would be discarded at the end of each night. Dehydrated citrus wheels often turn brown and don't taste good, so I was seeking ways to improve them. So I did an experiment: I compared dehydrated... Read more →


Cocktail Bar Sustainability Tips from Duke's in Healdsburg, CA

Tara Heffernon, an owner of Duke's Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg, wrote in with several systems that the bar uses for sustainability. Burning the Ice Instead of burning the ice, it is transferred into kitchen sinks to melt. Most bars burn their ice with hot water, as ice doesn't melt in time to be replaced by fresh sexy ice the next day, especially with how many bars use high end ice like Kold Draft (which we do). Even our pebble ice doesn't melt fully overnight, just enough to be too soggy and gross to use, so sacrificing our labor by transporting... Read more →


Misc Tips from Luuk Gerritsen of Curacao

Luuk Gerritsen lives on Curacao and is the general manager of Kome. Some of the ideas below were developed at previous venues where Gerritsen worked, and he would also like to acknowledge Bar Manager Wesley Quinlan as partner in many of these recipes and procedures. Citrus Gerritsen says, "All our fresh juice will be frozen at the end of the night and agar-clarified the day after. [Agar clarification turns the juice clear and helps it last much longer.] We clarify and acidify citrus for bottled drinks. Also, blending it with a little zest can bring back the aroma." They freeze... Read more →


Citrus Juice Rotation Schedule from Bull Valley Roadhouse

Tamir Ben-Shalom of Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa, California shared their fresh citrus juice rotation schedule, which is meant to use up fresh citrus and minimize waste. Key Points Use small bottles for citrus, filled all the way up, both to make it last longer and to have easy quantity calculation. Make it easy to cut to order at the end of the night and squeeze just a bit of juice. Have a system to use the juice in order from oldest to youngest. From Ben-Shalom: We are normally closed Monday-Tuesday, and Wednesday is Dram Shop (a guest bartender... Read more →


Many Tips from Nicholas Box of Acorn in Vancouver

The following missive comes from Nicholas Box of The Acorn restaurant in Vancouver. This post has tons of information in it, so if you followed a link here you might have to scroll a bit to find the particular section where it's mentioned. "I run the bar at The Acorn restaurant in Vancouver - that is up until the great closure of many many businesses. We are a 44-seat vegetarian restaurant focused on local ingredients. Now citrus isn't very local, but at least we can still order in organic. I'm a believer in getting organic when possible, especially if the... Read more →