I have to confess that I’m not really one for garnishes. I have a particular dislike of the school of thought that believes an otherwise uninspiring dish can be made exciting by popping a sprig of parsley on top of it.
To be honest, I’m possibly more comfortable with garnishes in cocktails – a gin and tonic isn’t the same without a lemon and I must have an olive with my martini.
But I generally thought that was due to me following convention (or just liking olives). I didn’t think it would have a material effect on the taste. (There was possibly also an unconscious rejection of the fruit filled monstrosities that were eighties-era cocktails.)
But I’m now prepared to admit that I was wrong. I’ve been convinced that garnishes *do* make a difference.
And, rather strangely, the garnish that changed my mind was lemon rind…
2 measures gin
Peel the lemon, so that it creates a spiral of lemon rind. (I used a vegetable peeler, which is a bit tricky to start with, but works well.) Place the rind in a glass with lots of ice, add the gin and top up with ginger ale.
This isn’t just gin and ginger ale – the lemon rind’s bitterness and freshness plays off the sweetness and fieriness of the ginger ale and the slight harshness of the gin. It’s refreshing and soothing at the same time.
Incidentally, it’s called a horse’s neck, because that’s what the spiralled lemon peel is meant to resemble. Don’t see it myself though…