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The Connaught Bar’s legendary Martini Trolley always carries three items: beautifully etched glasses, a collection of aromatics and spirits, and vibrant Amalfi lemons.

For guests who ask for their cocktail ‘with a twist’, this much-loved garnish is a bright, lively touch. Our Director of Mixology, Agostino Perrone, explains the art of this elegant embellishment.

What goes well with a Martini is down to personal taste. But for those seeking a classic accompaniment, the lemon garnish is perfect. We always choose organic, unwaxed fruit and use a sharp, well-designed peeler.

“Lemon is wonderfully flexible, so be creative with the shapes you peel and carve. You can also practice with other citrus fruit, such as orange, which has a skin that is less delicate and so easier to form."
Agostino PERRONe
  1. Placing your peeler at the top of the lemon, peel downwards and around the wide point of the fruit, creating a spiral.
  2. Squeeze the length of the peel in half.
  3. Spend a little time on the look of your garnish. I trim the sides of the peel, making sure it’s smooth. Sometimes the shape lends itself to a crescent, but you can carve anything from a rectangular strip to a modern-looking parallelogram.
  4. Turn the peel over and score a z-shaped line on the opposite side.
  5. Gently twist the peel into a spiral, then position it over the rim of the Martini glass, using the score lines to hold it in place.

“For an extra subtle layer of flavour in your Martini, use the essence of the lemon: its natural oil. Sweetly perfumed and intense, it adds a fresh dimension to your cocktail."
Agostino PERRONe

Heaven scent

  1. Placing your peeler at the top of the fruit, take it downwards to create a long piece of peel. Don’t worry about tidying it up in this instance – natural is best.
  2. With your thumb and middle finger on the sides of the peel, gently squeeze to release the oil from the lemon skin. It’s best to have your finger on the pith and to take a soft approach, keeping the peel intact.
  3. Once you see, and smell the oils, hold the peel above your glass to capture them. Be sure not to have it too close to the cocktail, as it can create a heavy lemon oil that overpowers the palate.