The Decorative Way To Add Citrus Peels To Iced Tea

Hot-weather drinks are all about the aesthetic, and with all of the ostentatious cocktails and mocktails out there, it can be easy to miss the potential in a humble glass of iced tea. Iced tea doesn't have to be a step down, however, if you're willing to put some work into its garnish. Citrus peels are a quick and easy way to elevate your beverage from overlooked to outstanding, and they're even more of a showstopper when paired with additional fruits on a decorative skewer.

Historical evidence traces the history of citrus peel garnishes back to 1862, though they were likely introduced even earlier. The popularity of the technique is thanks to its ability not only to improve the look of the drink but also the drinking experience through additional sensory cues. All fresh fruits give off volatile organic compounds which are the molecules responsible for giving them their mouthwatering aroma. By adding a simple skewer to your drink, you are intensifying the fruity and floral notes found in your iced tea, making it that much more delicious as well as beautiful.

How to make a fruit and citrus garnish

There are many ways to garnish an iced drink. While techniques like citrus wedges and slices are popular, they are too heavy for skewers. For this garnish, it's best to use only the citrus peel and lightweight fruits like blueberries or blackberries.

To start, select your citrus of choice — be it lemon, lime, orange, or even grapefruit. To make a pretty peel, reach for a kitchen tool like a vegetable peeler or a cheese peeler in lieu of a knife. These devices allow for more consistency in your work, especially for a beginner. Ideally, you are looking for short strips, around 2 to 3 inches; however, you can trim longer strips down for the same effect. 

Once you have your peels prepared, you can skewer them with your preferred fruit. Simply wrap a strip of peel around a berry and slide the combination onto your skewer to hold it in place. Repeat this method until the skewer is full, then stick it into your iced tea and enjoy!