The fifty-first installment of Mixology Monday (a.k.a. The Carnival That Created the Cocktailosphere) has the theme of Lime, and is being hosted at… well, here! I’ll thus skip all the general introductory discussion, leaving that for the announcement and the eventual roundup, and delve right into my offering.
I’m a fan of Audrey Saunders’ Pegu Club, for numerous reasons beyond just the obvious, and I’ve reviewed the place twice. But one perfect detail of the joint is the magnificently crafted garnishes they offer, each used to highlight but one or two of their signature cocktails.
In particular, I love the tattooed lime wedges that perch on the rim of their Pegus. While there is virtually nothing Tiki about Pegu Club, this garnish does produce a subliminal sense of Far Eastern (as opposed to Polynesian) exoticism.
The wedges, which look very like the one pictured above, evoke the region of the Pegu’s origin like some totem of the Thugee cult. Of course, I don’t think the Thugees extended their reach into Burma, and I’m sure they didn’t accept citrus fruits as members….
I was mystified as to how they made these little rim-hugging gems, until the Peguwife had a chance to look at them. It took her about thirty seconds to figure how to at least approximate the results.
You will need the following:
- Cutting board
- Serrated knife
- A good, beautiful, richly green lime. The bigger, the better.
- A five hole citrus zester (like this one, for example.)
You will use the zester to tattoo the whole lime, then slice it into wedges. (This order of things may seem obvious to you, it wasn’t to me!)
I could get really wordy about how you create various designs (shut up, Guy!) but instead I decided to make a video tutorial of the process. Behold the awesomeness of the Pegu Blog’s first vlog entry!
As you get some experience with this technique, you’ll see that you can make your cuts in ways that will look better when you cut the wedges, and conversely that you can choose where to cut to make whatever design you have carved look better. It is especially a good idea not to run scratches very far longitudinally. They will likely take up an entire wedge and leave very little visual complexity. Even simple patterns will look very complex after slicing if you do them right.
You can do this method with any citrus wedge or peel, though I think it looks best with limes and worst with lemons. The lemons don’t give enough contrast to really look good. And it works with any cocktail (including lots of tiki drinks) but you are honor-bound to mix a Pegu for the first drink you decorate with it….