‘Tis the season for adding a little flair to your cocktails, and a sparkly sugar-rimmed glass is a festive note for sweet holiday drinks. But rimming a glass can get sloppy and ruin the drink if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are some tips from Mike Ryan, head bartender of Chicago’s Sable Kitchen & Bar.
DO garnish with a sugar rim if you want to add a hint of sweetness to a cocktail without changing its flavor profile.
DON’T turn the glass upside down and twist in sugar. You want the sugar to stick to the outside of the glass. This way the sugar doesn’t dissolve into the cocktail and cause an imbalance with the ingredients.
DO lip half of a glass with a lemon wedge. Angle the wedge so that about ¾ of it overlaps the outside of the glass. Grab a pinch of granulated sugar and lightly dust the outside of the glass.
DON’T expect your guest to prefer the hint of sweetness, which is why you only lip half of the glass.
DO use a lemon or lime; whichever citrus corresponds to your recipe will work.
DO use the same method for salt and margaritas.
Ryan suggested this recipe for a cocktail called Chambers of the Mind as a good holiday drink to practice your sugar-rimming technique.
Chambers of the Mind
1 oz Blackstrap Rum
¾ oz Green Chartreuse
¾ oz Ancho Reyes
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake and serve up in a coupe glass garnished with a sugar rim.