Here's the thing about salt rims on margarita glasses: Not all salts are created equal, and your margarita can suffer.
By pairing the most suitable salt with your tequila, lime, and triple sec, you can provide your guests (or yourself) with an experience that repeatedly makes them want to return for seconds.
Why does it matter? Salting the rim of your glass brings out the flavor of all that liquid gold! Whether you're enjoying one as a delectable warm-weather drink or simply as your go-to option year-round, complimenting your margarita with the best salt rim is necessary.
Let's look at some margarita salt options and determine which one makes the best salt for margarita rims.
What Is Margarita Salt?
Margarita salts are salt added to margarita glass rims. It's as straightforward as that!
In addition to being a great flavor pairing with tequila (and limes), salt is integral to the margarita flavor profile. It adds a unique taste and rounds out the drinking experience on one's palate. The salinity brightens the sweet and sour notes, making the drink enjoyable and balanced.
But make sure to use it sparingly (as you would any seasonings) so that your drink isn't overly salty.
What Is The Best Salt For Margarita Rim?
The best salt to use is kosher salt, which is more coarse and won't dissolve quickly as table salt will. However, several variations from spicy salt to flavored salt are available today, giving the kosher standard a run for its money. More on that later.
That said, there is one variation to avoid: iodized table salt. Coarse salt is always a better option!
Lastly, it's easy to buy premade flavored salt for rimming glasses, but it's easy to make your own too!
Kosher salt is a granular salt with large grains. It's generally obtained by using ocean water, sand, or groundwater. Despite minimal refinements, the product possesses a highly mild salty taste and large irregularly formed particles. Kosher Salt holds moisture well and dissolves slowly in the mouth, making it a great choice in a margarita glass.
Kosher salt's name comes from its tradition in Jewish cooking and is now the preferred salt of most chefs. Because the salt's grains are so large, they adhere well to meat and soak up moisture without making it too salty. Kosher salt also has fewer additives, such as iodine, than ordinary table salt.
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Like its Kosher counterpart, pink sea salt contains big granulates obtained from evaporated ocean water and some groundwater sources. Sea salt also has an intensely salty aroma, making it an excellent choice for pairing with sweeter flavors found in strawberry or mango margaritas. A higher salinity balances against the sweet.
Himalayan pink sea salt is more than just something to put on your cocktail glass. It's an excellent addition to all sorts of dishes too. Try adding some to homemade guacamole or sprinkling some onto popcorn while popping it in your air popper. Any way you use it, it will give your food a delicious kick!
And if there happens to be any left after you've finished adding it to everything, remember: salt makes bath time fun! When used for soaking, Himalayan pink sea salt has benefits known to help soothe skin ailments and calm a stressed-out mind.
If you're looking to add a bit of extra flavor to your margaritas, flavored salt is a great option. Try some wasabi sea salt or, for something more classic, powdered ancho chili pepper and lime zest.
The best part? You don't have to stick with just one kind of rimming salt; mixing and matching can be fun! For example, try using half wasabi sea salt, half cayenne pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice on top.
Mixing in your favorite seasonings into kosher or sea salt can be a fun way to get creative and try new flavors. But if you're not feeling creative, there are numerous flavored salt options in stores and online!
Not all flavored salts will pair with your margarita, but trying new things on your glass rim is the only way to find out. Margarita salt preferences are genuinely subjective, so being open to trying new flavors is essential.
Making The Perfect Margarita Salt Rim
If you're going to enjoy a pitcher of margaritas at your next party, making your own salt might be worth your while. That way, you can control what goes into your delicious drink.
While you can rim the glass with salt straight from the box, ramping it up a notch will wow your guests. To make your specialty salt, you'll need coarse sea salt (Kosher or Pink Himalayan are our go-to picks) and some citrus zest.
How To Make Homemade Margarita Salt
Here's the most straightforward recipe for making delicious margarita salt:
- Zest of one whole lime
- Zest of one whole orange
- 2 tbsp of kosher salt
Put kosher salt, lime zest, and orange zest on a cutting board. Using a rolling pin, crumble and press the ingredients together. It's as simple as that!
More complex recipes require drying the zest in the oven, but it isn't necessary. Just be sure to store the completed salt in a dry container at room temperature.
If any clumps appear, they can quickly come apart by shaking the container. This margarita salt recipe should last for well over a month.
How to Rim a Cocktail Glass with Salt?
Creating a salt-rimmed glass may be easier than you think. All you need is a lime wedge with a small notch cut in the center, your margarita salt, a plate, and some margarita glasses!
Here's the step-by-step breakdown of putting salt on the rim of the glass:
- Cut a lime wedge and cut a small notch in the center.
- Spread your margarita salt evenly on a plate.
- Place the lime wedge, notch side down, on the edge of your glass, and rub it back and forth. You should see the rim of the glass covered in lime juice. If pieces of lime pulp appear, that's okay!
- Once the lime juice is on the glass's rim, dip the glass's wet area down onto the salt-covered plate. Tap and roll it back and forth to ensure it's coated evenly. You can salt the entire rim or only one half--whichever you prefer!
- Shake off any excess.
- Pour in your drink, add a garnish, serve, and sip!
Variations to Consider
As we've mentioned, creativity is one of the best parts of making your specialty salts to pair with the beloved sweet and sour flavors of a margarita.
If you're unsure where to start, consider a few variations below!
Swap In Granulated Sugar
Salt pairs well with the margarita's sour taste, but you can try rimming the glass with granulated sugar instead of salt if you like more sweetness. Follow the same steps above, but swap in the sweet stuff.
Pro tip: Make sure to use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar or other quickly dissolved variations.
Mix Herbs Into Salt Rim Recipes
You can add fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or lemon leaves into salt mixtures for a savory note. Edible and fragrant flowers can also serve as a tasty aid. Sour sumac and sweet black pepper make for a good edge too!
Herbs pair well with tequila's agave notes. Basil and rosemary pair beautifully with strawberry, a popular flavor for blended margaritas. No matter the herbaceous path you choose, we're sure you'll create recipes that are to die for.
Kick Up The Spice & Infuse Regional Flavor
Add in dried chili peppers to crank up the margarita's heat!
A great way to add cultural influence is to mix a regional cuisine's signature spice into coarse salt. Dip your glass, pour the cocktail, and serve a fresh, culturally-inspired take on a classic.
A great example of this comes from Ama Raw Bar in New York City. Their "Spicy Palawan" cocktail is a margarita riff, and the rim of the glass has a salt mixed with a traditional Japanese salt mix--and it's downright crave-worthy!
Use Margarita Salt For Other Cocktails
Different drinks can benefit from elevated salty notes. Try adding it to your next bloody mary or Paloma glass. You won't be disappointed!
Making Margaritas With Mixly
If you take one lesson away from this post, it's that flavored, and colored salts come in endless variations. And so do margaritas! The classic tequila drink comes in many variations with added fruits like strawberry, grapefruit, pineapple, and more, elevating the traditional tasting notes.
Check out Mixly's recipe page for more margarita inspired cocktail recipes.
With Mixly mixers, you can create cocktails with ease without sacrificing the use of fresh ingredients and bold flavor. Grab a bundle of mixers today--all you have to do is pour, stir, and serve. Cheers!