The Royal Treatment

Once in a while, we're inspired to tell you about something we've seen in another cocktail publication—it can be a new trend, an esoteric ingredient, or a particularly engaging origin story. This week, we're highlighting a cool cocktail-making technique that first came to our attention in an article from Punch (one of our favorite cocktail industry sources).
The technique (actually two related techniques) is called the "regal shake," which is similar to a technique called the "regal stir." These "cocktail hacks" are sublimely simple yet add a truly unique character to a cocktail.

The regal shake (first developed by a bartender from Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels named Theo Lieberman) is a process in which a swath of citrus is added directly into a cocktail shaker and is shaken with all the other ingredients. Yes, it's that simple. Adding the citrus peel to the shaker adds a wonderful layer of aromatic complexity and more effectively distributes the citrus's essential oils to the body of the drink. It also imparts a touch of bitterness from the pith, which can help to dry the drink out. Often, this technique is used in place of adding bitters.
Almost any kind of citrus will work for a regal shake, but the general consensus from bartenders is that lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lime work the best.
The "regal stir" is a similar concept to the regal shake, but instead of adding the citrus peel to the shaker, the peel is used to stir the cocktail. A bartender named Jelani Johnson is credited with developing this technique while working at Gage & Tollner, the famous restaurant bar in Brooklyn, New York. In the Punch article, Johnson says he "stumbled upon" the regal stir technique when he decided to stir a lemon peel into a recipe that used sweet vermouth. What he found was that the stir "dried" the drink out a bit and also added a pleasing boost to the mouthfeel of the cocktail. 
Here at Downtime Cocktails, we'll be playing with the regal techniques as we evolve existing recipes and develop new cocktail creations for Batch 22. First on the list of to-dos will be stirring and shaking orange peel for our riffs on a Manhattan, Negroni, and El Presidente and using lemon peel to stir and shake our Cosmopolitan, our Aviation (Flight 22), and our Lemondrop Martini. Which technique will you try first?