How To: Flame an Orange Peel

Use this three-step technique to light up classics like the Negroni or Old Fashioned.

Here’s an easy cocktail pyrotechnics trick to try at home: The flamed orange peel. Tristan Willey, bar manager at Booker & Dax in New York City, suggests using it to light up classics like the Negroni or Old Fashioned. Igniting the oils from an orange peel (other citrus doesn’t work as well) creates a burst of “distinctly caramelly, smoky scent,” Willey explains. “Plus, it just looks really cool.”


Cut a quarter-sized round of peel from an orange.



Hold the rind, peel-side out, directly over the cocktail. Then, bring the flame up to the outer peel.



Squeeze the peel and the oils will ignite in a misty flash. Next, run the charred peel around the rim of the glass and set it on top of the drink as garnish.

Published on February 28, 2013
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, coming fall 2016) as well as Cocktails for a Crowd (Chronicle Books, 2013).   Email:

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