Candied Sage & Citrus... Oh My!

by - 2:44 PM

Up your garnish game with some simple tricks that not only taste delicious, and look stunning, but are surprisingly easy to do! Here's two quick ways to candy garnishes, and trust me, once you try it, you'll want to candy everything you come across!

candied citrus

We'll start with citrus, as it's probably the more common when it comes to candied garnishes. You can use this technique with pretty much any citrus - orange, mandarin, lemons, limes, grapefruits, blood oranges, tangelos, cara caras, kumquats, oro blancos, pink lemons, sunquats... the list goes on and on.

For this - you'll need some citrus, sugar, and water... that's it!

Start with rinsing your citrus and then thinly slicing it and setting aside. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add your citrus slices and boil for approximately 2-3 minutes. This is an extremely important step - it helps remove some of the bitter flavor you'd find in a citrus rind. Remove the slices and discard the water.

Into the same pot add approximately 4 cups of water (or really as much water as you think you'll need. You just want to remember how much you use because you want your ratio to be 1:1 water to sugar.

Add the same amount of sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once the sugar is completely dissolved add the citrus into the simple syrup and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, giving the citrus a little swirl every so often to make sure each slice is evenly coated and nothing sticks to the bottom. You want the citrus rinds to be slightly translucent when done.

While the citrus is cooking line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat (for easy clean-up) and top with a wire rack. Once the citrus is done, remove from the syrup and place in a single layer on the rack. Let dry for 24 hours.

Once dry the citrus will be chewy, tender, and delicious. At this point you could coat it with more granulated sugar for a crystalized look, or use as is.

ALSO be sure to save the citrus simple syrup! You can use it in cocktails, tea, or baking for an extra citrusy kick!

candied sage

Now onto the edible herb garnishes... THIS is a really fun technique you can do with any raw herbs or flowers (yes I said flowers!). When selecting a herb, you want something that you'd be alright eating raw - so basil, sage, thyme, mint, oregano, spinach... or edible flowers like violas, nasturtiums, pansies, chamomile, chive blossoms, pea flowers, etc.

Rinse your herbs and lay them on a paper towel to dry. Meanwhile in a bowl mix together an egg white with some water to form a wash. Pour some sugar into a bowl and grab a small brush.

Paint your herb with the egg wash and then cover it completely in sugar. Set it on a wire rack and keep going. Once all your herbs are coated in sugar - set them out to dry for 24 hours.

Now that you know these fun techniques... what are you going to try them on?

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