A fun garnish is a great way to dress up a cocktail or non-alcoholic drink. Lemon curls are a classic.
A bartender gave me his method to make this lemon garnish and I think you’ll love it too.
It can be used to make lemon curls, lime curls or orange curls too.
How to make Lemon Curls
Years ago I was having lunch at the now defunct Kevin Taylor Prima Ristorante in Denver. I chatted with the bartender over a pomegranate martini and asked how he made the whimsical lemon spiral hanging off the side of the glass.
He let me in on a secret I’ve loved knowing ever since: how to make Lemon Spirals.
Having been served cocktails with the whimsical swirls before (the ones that look like tiny citrus corkscrew pig’s tails), I was always curious how they were made.
When I asked the bartender he showed me step by step how to do it.
It’s quite easy and was something I would never have figured out on my own.
No fancy equipment or channel knife is needed.
Using Lemon Twists
Lemon Spirals (also called lemon curls or lemon twists) can be used in any sort of drink, alcoholic or otherwise.
I try to choose larger lemons to yield a longer spiral though any size lemon will work.
The spirals may be added to the drink, trellised over the edge of the glass or both. They are great for decorating baked goods too.
However you use them they make the drink more eye-catching and fun!
How to make Lime Twists or Orange Twists
This easy method can be used for any type of citrus fruits. Limes and oranges make great curls too.
Storing Lemon Curls
Store lemon twists in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
More recipes to try!
How to Make Lemon Curls (drink garnish)
- sharp knife
- bowl or jar
- Select unblemished lemons.
- Slice the ends off a lemon to create a flat surface.
- Make one slice down the length of the lemon. Gently separate the peel from the inner fruit of the lemon.
- Gently roll the peel lengthwise to form a tight spiral (leave no space between the layers). Insert 2 toothpicks on either end to secure the lemon peel.
- Place in water in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove from the water and remove the toothpicks. Slice into 1/8-1/4 inch slices. Uncoil and place into a drink or hand off the side of a glass.
Originally published December 2010.