This drink rimmer uses neither sugar nor
salt, just a touch of herbs. Photo
courtesy Haru Restaurant.
Several specialty food companies make cocktail glass rimmers that add color, flavor and festivity to the rim of the glass.
Beyond cocktails, a glass rimmer can be used with almost any drink, from iced coffee to hot chocolate to milk.
But why buy them, when it’s easy to make your own—and to customize the rimmer to each cocktail recipe?
Depending on whether you’re making a rimmer for a sweet or savory drink, you can start with a base:
Base: Add sugar or sea salt to a plastic sandwich bag or quart bag. Try different textures, from superfine to coarse to sparkling options like sanding sugar, to see which effect you prefer.
Color: For color, you can use colored sanding sugar instead of regular sugar. Other cookie and cake decorations that work in rimmmers include confetti, crystal sugar, glitter, gold or silver flakes, jimmies and non-pareils. You can also make a simple colored sugar or salt by adding a drop of food coloring to the bag. Shake to infuse the color, then allow the mixture to dry. Spreading it on a paper towel or a plate will speed up the process.
Flavor, Sweet: Look at your spice rack and pick one to mix into your base: anise, cardamom (ground), cinnamon, clove, crystallized ginger (crushed), coconut (ground), ginger, nutmeg or other favorite. Add a half teaspoon per cup of sugar, then taste and add more if you prefer.
Flavor, Savory: Add a teaspoon or more of a complementary herb, dried or fresh-minced (the latter provides more vibrant flavor). We love chopped basil, celery salt, coriander, cumin, dill, herbes de Provence, paprika, pepper, rosemary, thyme and toasted sesame seed. Get more daring with spices such as chipotle and curry (try them with Bloody Marys and Martinis). You can also try citrus zest with both sweet and savory drinks, mixed with an herb or spice.
Use a base of crushed hard candies or cookies, instead of sugar. Add a spice for dimension. For a beautiful presentation, use edible flowers.
Experiment with whatever appeals to you:
Dill and cracked pepper as a Bloody Mary glass rimmer
Lemon zest and basil as a Martini glass rimmer
Lime zest and sparkling sanding sugar as a Margarita glass rimmer
Cocoa drink mix and shaved chocolate on any chocolate cocktail
Crushed peppermint candies or ginger snaps for a holiday touch
Share your favorite inspirations with us!
Also consider matching your cocktail snack to the rimmer. For example, with a dill rimmer, serve a dip flavored with dill or a complementary flavor like basil.
Adding The Rimmer Mix To The Glass
Place the rimmer on a flat plate next to a small bowl of water. Dip the rim of the glass into the water and then into the rimmer mix. Twist the glass against the mix to evenly coat the rim. Pour in the cocktail and serve.