The Zesting Gadget All Cocktail Lovers Should Own

If you're looking to up your home bartending game, having the right tools on hand is essential. While a basic vegetable peeler can work for citrus zesting, investing in one specific bar tool can take your cocktail garnishes to the next level. That's right, it's time to buy a channel knife. 

As you likely know, citrus peels or spirals can be used as an aromatic or to add essential oil into a cocktail by rubbing the rim of the glass. A channel knife, also known as a citrus stripper, is a tool specifically designed for creating long, thin strips of citrus peel. It has a small, sharp blade with a curved shape that allows you to cut a groove into the citrus fruit and remove a strip of peel in one long piece. This creates a beautiful, decorative spiral that can be used to garnish cocktails and add a burst of citrus flavor.

Once you've created your citrus spiral, there are a variety of ways to use it in your cocktails. You could wrap the spiral around the edge or stem of a martini glass or skewer it onto a cocktail pick. Alternatively, you could lay the spiral flat on top of the drink or float it on the surface. Not only does this add a beautiful visual element to your cocktail, but it also adds a burst of citrus flavor.

How to use a channel knife

To use this cocktail gadget, start by selecting a fresh citrus fruit and hold the fruit firmly in one hand and the channel knife in the other. Place the blade of the knife against the fruit and gently press down while pulling the knife towards you. This will create a small groove in the fruit's peel. Continue to move the knife around the fruit, creating a long, thin strip of peel.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also use leftover citrus zest in a variety of ways including candied peels. Citrus is also a welcome addition to other kitchen staples such as salt and sugar. 

With its ability to create long, beautiful spirals, you can impress your guests with your bartending skills when you keep a channel knife on hand. Give it a try and see how it can elevate your own cocktail game.