A drink garnish is like a cocktail's top hat -- but with more functionality and less weight. Lime peel garnishes add touches of citrus and decoration to all kinds of cocktails from martinis to margaritas. Cut lime peel garnishes in different ways for garnishes of varying lengths and widths while still making use of the rest of the lime. Choose brightly colored, blemish-free limes for the most attractive results.
Place the lime firmly onto the cutting board, then cut off each end. Stand the lime upright on one end, then cut in half down the middle. Place a lime half with the fruit facing down, then slice it width-wise into 1/4-to 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the fruit out of one of the lime pieces for a lime peel garnish -- this method leaves you lime peels and slices that you can squeeze into drinks.
Hold the lime firmly against the cutting board, then cut off one-sixth to one-fourth of each end or until the fruit is exposed. Place the lime on its side, then slice it width-wise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch rounds or wheels. Cut a straight line into one of the wheels from its edge to its center, then gently pull at the two cut ends to separate most of the fruit -- cut the remaining bits off with the knife. Slowly twist both ends in opposite directions for a lime twist -- this method also gives you lime wheels to float on top of martinis.
Hold a lime firmly in one hand and the citrus peeler in the other. Insert the blade of the peeler just below the peel, then twist the lime in a clockwise direction while slowly moving the peeler down the lime. Leave a trace amount of skin left between the cut lines of each rotation, allowing for the thickest peels possible. Cut the peeled part of the lime into lime peel garnishes of your chosen length -- this method gives you mostly peeled whole limes, good for muddling and juicing.