cocktail glass

how to

with salt (and spice!)

Here's a quick description of one way to rim your cocktail glasses. Scroll down the page to discover: notes on different liquids you can use; interesting ingredients for rimming your glass to enhance your cocktails; variations on technique; as well as some recipes we have on hand that might inspire.

But first, here's how to get started.


  • cocktail glass of choice
  • 2 saucers wider than diameter of glass
  • liquid of choice* (acts as adhesive for ingredient)
  • sea salt or ingredients of choice* for coating rim

  •  *alternative liquids and rimming ingredients discussed below


    1. 1
      Prepare Saucers
      Fill one saucer with approximately 2 tablespoons of liquid of choice, and a thin coating of rimming ingredients in the other.

    2. 2
      Coat glass rim with liquid
      Dip the glass into the liquid at a 45° angle and rotate. The angle is so that it is only the outer edge that becomes moist. Coat approximately ¼ inch of the rim.

    3. 3
      Coat glass rim with rimming ingredient
      Transfer glass to ingredient-filled saucer and repeat motion to coat the outer lip of the glass.

    4. 4
      Set rim and prepare drink
      Let set for 10-15 minutes. Tidy up edges with a moist paper towel. Carefully add your cocktail without splashing on rim.



    •   Prep your glass in advance so the ingredients can dry and adhere properly
    •   Allow the salt rim to set for about 10-15 minutes
    •   Tidy the salt rim after setting
    •   Be careful not to splash the salted rim when adding your drink
    •   Avoid using iodized salt, as it tends to be too strong for salting rims
    •   If using notched citrus wedge method, avoid over wetting

    variations on


    Beyond using just water, lemon and lime citrus juice are the go-to liquids rimming cocktail glasses. Remember that the citrus family extends beyond lemon and lime. Consider trying orange for a sweeter slant, or grapefruit for something tangier.

    Other Juices
    Kiwi can yield a similar amount of juice and can provide an exotic slightly strawberry-esque taste. What about watermelon? Or try cranberry juice to add tart tones. Apple juice can lean your drink in an autumn direction. Pineapple can give tropical and sweet-summer overtones.

    Simple Syrups
    The most basic simple syrup is sugar and water in a one-to-one ratio heated until dissolved. But variations on simple syrups are endless as this basic solution can be infused with a variety spices and herbs even tilting the inherently sweet flavor in a savory direction.

    Getting Sticky
    Honey is sometimes used in sweet cocktails, as is agave, or maple syrup for a richer sweetness. These sticker substances will often be diluted in water before use, making them analogous to simple syrups in consistency and constitution. Really sticky rims can be tricky and can overpower the drink experience in flavor and texture.

    Complement Not Compete
    Sometimes mixologists will do contrasting flavors on rims that will accent the drink rather than underscoring or reinforcing it—but don't use clashing flavors for the sake of variance. Try for a theme and stay understated in flavor profile. Even if the presentation of the rim is ornate, taste-wise the star of the show is still the cocktail.


    Salt Rims
    Starting with the obvious, high-quality sea salts are a classic on rims for classic cocktails—margaritas, micheladas, salty dogs, etc. Don't use common iodized table salt, it's too strong and will easily overpower your drink. Instead, flaked sea salts work well in adding crunchy texture as well as a briny tang to your concoction. Think Maldon flakes, or even the gourmet Fleur de Sel. Other coarse grain salts also can add interesting visual pop: think Kosher Salt, Pink Himalayan Salts, or French Grey Salts. Alternatively, try smoked sea salts to add some subtle complexity. Below we have some suggestions for ingredients you can use in salt infusions which will also provide flavor notes—as well as sometimes attractive texture—to your cocktail creations.

    Sugar Rims
    Earlier we mentioned juices and other sweet sticky substances that might be used to adhere ingredients to the rim of your cocktails but for more candied concoctions, a rim with actual sugar can be employed. Chunky granular sugars work wonders in creating visual and textural appeal. Think turbinado or demerara sugar, though finer brown sugar works in some instances too. Colored sugars make fun accents, and some folks even use candied sprinkles for festive, whimsical displays. Like salts, sugars can also be infused to create more exotic and subtle flavor notes.

    Botanical Rims
    Rose petals or lavender buds can be used in salt or sugar infusions. Bits of flower stuck to the side of your glass along with the snow-white crystals of either sugar or salt make a delicate and elegant presentation. Though they won't add visual distinction, citrus powders made from blitzing dried orange or lemon peels in a food processer can also be mixed, or infused, into salts and sugars to add unexpected tang to cocktail rims.

    Spicy Rims
    For quick heat, bright flavor notes and visual pop, cayenne chile pepper can be mixed into your sea salt selection. Or try chipotle chile pepper for a similar heat, but a richer smokier flavor profile. Another bright red complement is pink peppercorn, which has a heat and flavor more akin to capsicum peppers than to actual black peppercorn (this isn't really a surprise, pink peppercorn and black peppercorn aren't related). Cracked black peppercorn mixed with salt can also deliver heat, but with a bit more bite than the peppers mentioned previously.

    Another classic warming spice which is often employed in sugared cocktail glass rims is ground cinnamon. This can be on its own, or mixed with more pungent spices like nutmeg, cloves, or even more pungent ginger. Using pumpkin pie spice would definitely tinge your concoction with a taste of fall.

    As the winter months wear on, you might try cacao powder and sugar mixes, to add a bittersweet chocolatey accent to the rim of your cocktail.

    Making a Salted Rim with the Cookie Cutter Method

    Cookie Cutter Method
    Some folks aren't particular about their salted rims extending to the inside of their glasses and prefer the easier method of inverting their glass entirely into the saucerful of salt and rotate back-and-forth as one would do with a cookie cutter.

    Notched Fruit Method
    Some have learned with time and experience how to apply the right amount of pressure and persistence in using a notched citrus wedge to rub the circumference of the glass and thus don't use a second saucer for liquid.

    Rimming Kits
    Serious cocktail makers, or perhaps instead, serious gadget geeks can purchase rimming kits that are much like the make shift saucers we outline above in nature, but can have many shelves that can house different ingredients. If you do use one of these, be sure to keep the ingredients fresh and rotate out anything that might have gotten too clumpy.

    ingredient ideas for

    The following spices are sample ingredient suggestions for inspiration. Let us know what spices you mixed in with your salts (or sugars) and what worked best. Keep in mind we sell most of our spices in 'try me' sample sizes for 75¢ each so you don't have to commit to a jar of something exotic you might not use every day.

    Elevate your salted rim with gourmet finishing salt Fleur de Sel for taste and texture.
    gourmet sea salt
    This gourmet artisanal finishing salt is harvested by hand from the coast of France. This bright white treasure is comprised of snow-like crystals and has a slight hint of violets. Use only a pinch of this to enhance dishes just before serving.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    3 oz - JAR$7
    3 oz - REFILL$6
    16 oz - REFILL$29
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Salted rims with French Grey Salt are soft on the palate but rich in mineral-ly flavor.
    coarse grain
    This artisanal dried coarse grain French grey salt is rich in minerals and is tinged grey from the clay bottom of the tidal pools from which it is harvested. Briny and flavorful, but softer on the palate than commercial salts.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    3 oz - JAR$3
    3 oz - REFILL$2
    16 oz - REFILL$8
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Blitz dried Orange Peels for a tangy powder inclusion to a salty rim.
    Dried orange peels have a sharp citrus bite. Made entirely from the peel of the fruit, they tend toward bitterness, and as such these dried pieces aren't meant for ready-made snacking.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    1.1 oz - JAR$3
    1.1 oz - REFILL$2
    4 oz - REFILL$7
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Lavender infused sugar provides cocktail rims with aroma and elegance.
    Dried lavender buds have a strong, sweet, floral aroma with a slight hint of camphor and a subtle, bitter taste.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    0.4 oz - JAR$5
    0.4 oz - REFILL$4
    2 oz - REFILL$12
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Crust your cocktail rim with Rose Petal infused sugar to impart a delicate but dramatic visual pop.
    whole petals
    Dried rose petals have a full sweet-scented aroma. Simple syrup or other infusions with these rose petals will yield a delicate fruity taste and a heady floral bouquet; an aromatic addition to every thing from baked confections to boozy beverages.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    0.2 oz - JAR$3
    0.2 oz - REFILL$2
    1.2 oz - REFILL$6
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Salted rims with a bit of Cayenne Chile Pepper salt will add heat and color.
    Ground cayenne is bright orange in color with a strong lingering heat and a pungent aroma and flavor. Our cayenne is not too hot for everyday use.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    2 oz - JAR$6
    2 oz - REFILL$5
    8 oz - REFILL$14
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    For a smoky heat in your salted rim mix in Chipotle Chile Pepper.
    Ground from smoke-dried jalapeños, chipotle powder imparts a smokiness with notes of tobacco and chocolate to dishes.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    2 oz - JAR$8
    2 oz - REFILL$7
    8 oz - REFILL$25
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Fiery Cracked Black Peppercorn mixed in with your salted rim can be an explosive savory accent.
    Our Vietnamese black peppercorns have an intense aroma, but a more mellow taste with flavor notes of wood. In this cracked form they are ideal for salads or foods in need of texture.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    2 oz - JAR$6
    2 oz - REFILL$5
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Salted rims with crushed Pink Peppercorns offer a more complex heat with their bright color and flavor.
    Pink peppercorn, though peppery, is more rounded than the assertive black peppercorn; it has delicate fruity notes that can be almost sweet.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    0.8 oz - JAR$6
    0.8 oz - REFILL$5
    4 oz - REFILL$17
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Underscore a sugar crusted rim with Ground Cinnamon to add warm and spicy layers of flavor.
    Ground cassia cinnamon's spicy, warm flavor and aroma star in many homespun fall and winter recipes. Cassia is dominant variety of cinnamon in America.
    2 oz - JAR$8
    2 oz - REFILL$7
    8 oz - REFILL$24
    2 oz - JAR $8
    Sugar rims with Ground Ginger make a pungent statement on the glass edge. Consider pairing with citrusy drinks.
    Dried ground ginger is an aromatic and pungent spice with citrusy, even woodsy, notes. Used in baked goods and ginger-flavored favs.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    1.6 oz - JAR$6
    1.6 oz - REFILL$5
    6 oz - REFILL$13
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Sugar and Cacao Powder cocktail glass rims lead the way into sweeter drinks with a hint of bitter.
    high fat (20-22%)
    Unsweetened and high in fat this luxury natural cacao powder will yield rich chocolatey flavor in baked goods.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    1.5 oz - JAR$4
    1.5 oz - JAR$4
    1.5 oz - REFILL$3
    6 oz - REFILL$10
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Fine grain Himalayan aalt coats glass rims with a subtle pink hue flecked with darker salmon.
    dark pink
    fine grain
    Himalayan salt has a strong, salty flavor and a slight mineral aroma. This version is fine grain and ready to use in cooking or as a table salt replacement.
    TRY ME - SAMPLE$0.75
    4 oz - JAR$3
    4 oz - REFILL$2
    16 oz - REFILL$8
    TRY ME - SAMPLE $0.75
    Sriracha Himalayan salt will give a spicy kick and and warm orange tinge to the cocktail rim.
    fine grain
    Fine-grain Himalayan salt infused with sriracha is a unique seasoning that combines the natural minerals and flavor of pink salt with the heat and depth of the popular hot sauce.
    4 oz - JAR$5
    4 oz - REFILL$4
    16 oz - REFILL$10
    4 oz - JAR $5

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