How Do I Sugar a Lemon Peel for a Garnish?

by Chance E. Gartneer
Sugared lemon peels add flavor to desserts as well as cocktails.

Sugared lemon peels add flavor to desserts as well as cocktails.

A fruit garnish, whether it's perched on the rim of a martini glass or scattered on top of a dessert, adds more than just color. Garnishes complete drinks and eats by giving them a final burst of flavor and color. Sugared lemon peels bring both tartness and sweetness as well as simple sophistication to both plates and cocktails. Sugaring a lemon peel garnish is a simple process that adds levels of complexity to your bar and kitchen creations.

Shave strips from the lemon's skin with the peeler.

Scrape the white pith off the insides of the peeled strips with a dull knife or spoon. Pith left on the peeled skin sours the lemon peel garnishes.

Cut the peeled pieces into extremely thin strips, about 1/16 inch, with the paring knife on the cutting board.

Mix in equal parts water and sugar to the saucepan, then bring the contents to a boil for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Add the lemon peel strips to the saucepan, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Leave the lemon peel strips in the saucepan for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the strips become semitransparent.

Place the strainer over the bowl, then spoon the strips from the saucepan into the strainer. Allow the strips to drip-dry for a few minutes.

Half-fill a re-sealable plastic bag with sugar.

Place the strips inside the plastic bag, seal, then shake for a few minutes or until the strips are evenly covered.

Remove the lemon peel strips from the plastic bag, then place them on wax paper until they are completely dry.

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Items you will need

  • Lemon
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cutting board
  • Dull knife or spoon
  • Paring or sharp knife
  • Saucepan
  • Sugar
  • Strainer
  • Bowl
  • Plastic bag
  • Wax paper


  • Store the sugared lemon strips in an airtight container.


  • Sugared lemon peels only keep for a couple of weeks.

About the Author

Chance E. Gartneer began writing professionally in 2008 working in conjunction with FEMA. He has the unofficial record for the most undergraduate hours at the University of Texas at Austin. When not working on his children's book masterpiece, he writes educational pieces focusing on early mathematics and ESL topics.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images