In dried form, orange slices can be a great way to improve a cocktail. Especially during the cold winter and holiday season, dehydrated slices of orange o grapefruit are common ways to improve the visual appearance of cocktails.
The best thing is that it's surprisingly easy to make these dried orange slices. You simply slice fresh crosswise into ⅛ to ¼ inch slices, pat-dry the fresh cut slices with paper towels, and bake them in the oven. Alternatively, you can also use a dehydrator or air fryer to do the job.
Oranges and the essential oils in their peels are an important part of classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or a Negroni. The fragrant oils in the peels elevate these drinks with a fresh citric note. Using a dehydrated orange slice can complement these flavors visually and make your next drink look stunning.
How to make dried orange slices
Drying oranges is an easy process. Start with washing the oranges carefully and then cut them crosswise into thin slices of ⅛ to ¼ inch (3,175 to 6.35 mm).
Pat-drying the slices with paper towels before the actual drying process speeds up the whole procedure. Now that the orange slices are ready, there are four options for how you can dehydrate them.
- Oven - This is the most common way to dehydrate citrus slices. You don't need extra equipment besides a parchment-lined baking tray. At a temperature between 200°F to 225°F, the process takes between 3.5 and 4 hours. Remember to turn the slices after the first 2 hours.
- Dehydrator - A food dehydrator is the most energy-efficient solution. It's also the easiest way to dehydrate any fruit. Just put the orange slices on the racks of your dehydrator and let it do its magic. After 5-7 hours, the dried fruit slices are ready.
- Air fryer - An air fryer with a dehydrator is also an excellent way to make dried orange slices. For this, put them into the air fryer basket and air fry them at the lowest temperature for about 30 minutes. Then turn them and fry them again for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Air-dry - This requires no tools other than a jute string. Hang your orange slices in a cool and dry place by threading a piece of jute string or bakers twine through their tops. The drying will take up to one week.
Ingredients & Equipment
All you need to make this exquisite garnish is some basic tools and oranges or other citrus fruit.
- Fresh oranges: You can also add some variety and dry multiple fruits at once. Some great examples are blood oranges, grapefruits,
- Mandoline slicer: This comes in handy to cut the fruits into slices. This tool helps you to quickly cut oranges into perfectly even slices. If you don't have one at home, use a sharp knife.
- Paper towels: Drying the orange slices before baking them in the oven will speed up the process drastically.
- Parchment paper: This will prevent your orange slices from sticking to your baking tray.
Here are some tips to make the results even better:
- Remove the seeds. After slicing the fruits, you can see their seeds. For the best results, remove them with the help of a cocktail - or toothpick.
- Mix fruits for color variation. Dehydrate oranges, limes, lemons, and Blood oranges for a colorful set of dried citrus fruits.
- Dip them into dark chocolate. Dip your dried orange slices into chocolate and top them with sea salt or edible petals for an extra fancy garnish.
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 Cutting board
- 1 Parchment lined baking tray
- 1-4 Oranges - (or other citrus fruit like lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.)
- Preheat your oven to 225°F.
- Wash your fruits and cut them into thin slices of ⅛ to ¼ inch.
- Pat dry the slices with paper towels and then place them onto a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Bake the slices for 2 hours, then turn them and bake again for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.