If you’ve got a fruit bowl full of oranges and lemons that are not going to get used up before they need to go in the bin, or half a sliced grapefruit that you didn’t need in your last G&T, instead of throwing them in the bin, why not create your own dried fruit garnishes?
It is super easy, reduces waste and gives you an instant stash of beautiful fruit garnishes to choose from whenever you next fancy a gin cocktail!
Once added to your drink, the fruit will rehydrate and impart its flavour to your gin and tonic - you won’t get the same aroma as from a fresh citrus slice, but the flavour will actually be more concentrated and intense as a result of the dehydrating process.
Of course, you could buy a fancy dehydrating machine but honestly, this can be done in your own oven and achieve the same results! (Just don’t forget you put them in there!)
Oh, and they also make festive Christmas tree decorations - just thread a little golden cotton or string through each slice for a lovely rustic decoration! Read on to find out how to whip up your own batch of dried fruit gin garnishes.
How to make your own dried fruit garnish:
Turn on your oven to its lowest setting
Slice your fruit thinly (but not paper-thin; you risk crisping the edges!). Try to keep the width as consistent as possible so they all dry at the same rate.
Add any extra herbs or spices (see below.)
Place your sliced fruit onto baking parchment and put in the oven.
Check on the fruit every half-hour or so - it will take at least a few hours, depending on how hot the oven is and what fruit you’re using. Obviously, leave the dried fruit to cool before using!
Store the dried fruit garnishes in a tightly sealed glass jar, biscuit tin or freezer bag - room temperature is ok, a cool and dark cupboard is better - and they will last 3-4 weeks.
Ideas for creative dried fruit garnishes:
Strawberries are fun for Valentine’s Day as they look like little hearts!
Dried raspberries are fabulous in a sparkling gin cocktail!
Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, mandarins, clementines
Stone fruit: peaches, apricots, plums, mangoes
Pome fruits: apples, pears, quinces
Add complementary spices - try cinnamon and nutmeg with apple, rosemary with orange, vanilla and star anise with pear, or dried red chilli with mango, for example!