Learn with A Bar Above

Rimming a Glass

Photo by The Culinary Geek/ CC BY

Rimming a Glass

Rimming a glass is definitely a way to add to the guest’s visual perception of a cocktail – and add to the flavor as well.

  • Salt is a flavor amplifier, and serves to enhance the existing flavors in your drink.
  • Sugar is a sweetener and will sweeten the guest’s perception of the cocktail.

How to Rim a Glass:

  1. After chilling your glass, wet the rim with whatever fruit juice you’ve used in your cocktail (or with water in a pinch)
  2. Spread your salt or sugar (whatever you will be rimming with) onto a plate.
  3. Carefully dip the rim of the glass into the salt or sugar. (I often recommend only rimming half the glass so your guest has the choice whether to drink from the rimmed side or not.)
  4. Make sure to only get salt or sugar on the outside of the glass. If there is any salt or sugar in the inside of the glass, it will most likely drop into the drink and begin to alter the balance of the drink.
  5. If there will be ice in the final drink, add it now.
  6. Fine-strain your cocktail into the glass and serve.

It’s important to add the ice (step 4) before adding the cocktail (step 5) to prevent splashing which can disrupt the rim you’ve just added to the glass.

Getting Creative:

In the next tab we’ll talk about some ways you can rim your glass with more creative ingredients than plain sugar or salt.

Photo by Dinner Series/ CC BY

Making Infused Salt & Sugars

Another creative way to emphasize flavors or colors with your cocktail is to infuse your salt or sugars with other ingredients that add flavor or color. Here’s how:

How to Infuse Salt or Sugars with flavor:

If your flavoring ingredients are already powdered, like for instance cinnamon or hibiscus powder, you can simply mix the powder with the sugar or salt and skip the process below. If not, read on:

  1. Start with dehydrated ingredients.
  2. Add your flavoring ingredients and salt or sugar to a food processor
  3. Pulse the food processor to make a fine powder

Store your infused salt or sugar in an airtight container and taste every couple of days to monitor the flavor. If it clumps, feel free to pulse in the food processor again.

Alternatively:

Specialty kitchen stores often sell specialty flavored salts and sugars. This is a great place to go for inspiration, or to just skip the process above.