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Five Perfect Drink Rimmers

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Sometimes it’s about more than what’s inside the glass.


We’re all familiar with the classic margarita, which can be spiced up with some salt on the rim (arriba!). But why stop at the sodium? Pretty much anything that can be ground into a fine powder or small chunks can be used to line the rim of your beverage. Not only does this add to the flavor of the drink, it also really ups the ante in presentation. Think about it: A chocolate martini by itself can look a little ho-hum. But a chocolate martini served in a glass that’s brimming with finely shaved milk chocolate? Don’t be ashamed—a little drool is understandable.

Use these five drink rimmers to make an everyday cocktail anything but. And if you really want to get into it, matching the color of a drink rimmer to a person’s outfit is très chic!

Sugar


There’s nothing fancy about this one—you can just use whatever’s in your sugar jar. Even though it’s in everybody’s kitchen, sugar really can add some pizzazz to a cocktail. To apply to the rim of the glass, just take a lemon and rub it around wherever you want the coating to appear. Then dip the rim of the glass in the sweet stuff and voilà—you’re ready to pour. Sugar is used to offset the alcoholic kick you might encounter in some stronger drinks—look for it in Lemon Drops and classic cocktails like the Sidecar. Oh, and after taking a few sips of this, you’ll be totally kissable with all that sugar on your lips—just in case Mr. or Ms. Right is in the room.

Chocolate


The perfect way to turn a cocktail that you have at dessert into a cocktail you have for dessert is by spicing up the rim with a little chocolate coating. Like we said before, take some chocolate shavings and apply it to the lip of your Espresso or White Chocolate Martini. In this case, skip the lemon as an application tool. Since the citrus may be a little too tart, opt for a fine coating of honey to make those shavings stick in just the right way. The best part about this one? You get to eat over the left overs.

Chili Powder


Word to the wise: Be careful with this one. When used correctly, it can really add some nice spice. When applied incorrectly, well, you don’t want to send your guests to the ER with burning lips (and if you do—well, you probably invited the wrong people). Find a chili powder with moderate heat, and mix it in with a coarse salt (larger chunks of sea salt work well). Apply your chili salt using a lemon or lime—you’ll want to taste this one in advance to make sure there are no five-alarm fires ready to ignite. Once you achieve the right balance, you can use this rub for drinks made with deeply flavored Mexican spirits—think dark tequilas and smoky mezcals.

Bacon


You better believe you read that correctly. If you’re serving drinks for an adventurous (or especially carnivorous) crowd, you can apply bacon to the lip of the glass to complement the booze. This only works with a few spirits—stick with a hearty Kentucky bourbon that already displays a certain meatiness. Of course you can make your own bacon drink rimmer, but those bacon bits you put in salad work just fine as well. While not everyone in the room may like this (especially the vegetarians), it’s guaranteed to get everyone talking.

Pop Rocks


Is there a drink that goes well with the taste of Pop Rocks? Admittedly, not really. Will your guests freak out when those little things start bursting and popping at the first sip? You betcha. Try doing a classic Cosmopolitan with a light rim of these to get that party poppin’.
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