• Pinterest
  • Save
  • Facebook
  • Email
  • Print

7 Perfect Drink Rimmers

Updated April 28, 2020
What’s on the inside of the glass is important, but don’t discount what’s happening on the outside, either. If you’re looking for the best drink rimmer to go with your cocktail, try one of these to kick your happy hour up a notch.
We’re all familiar with the classic margarita, which can be spiced up with some salt on the rim, but why stop at the sodium? Pretty much anything that tastes good on its own 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? C’mon, now that’s a drink to drool over!


cranberry margaritas

There’s nothing fancy about this one—you can just use whatever’s in your sugar jar. This common pantry stable can really 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.


almond joy shots

The perfect way to turn a cocktail that you have at dessert into a cocktail you have for dessert is by dressing 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. As citrus may be a little too tart, opt for a fine coating of honey or agave nectar to make those shavings stick in just the right way.

Pop Rocks

blue kamikazee shots

Adding Pop Rocks as a drink rimmer is sure to get the party poppin’ Try doing a classic Cosmopolitan with a light rim of “rocks” for a fun surprise. To make the candy stick to your glass, try dipping the rim in white frosting or melted white chocolate first.

Chili Powder

Word to the wise: Be careful with this one. When used correctly, it adds a nice kitck to your glass. When applied incorrectly, you end up with burning lips! 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.


pink squirrel cocktail

Fun and colorful, sprinkles are a cute way to add color and pizzazz to a sweet cocktail. Whether you use jimmies or candy sprinkles (or a combination of both), you’ll want to rub a bit of liquor or simple syrup on the rim before you get to dipping.


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, it’s guaranteed to get everyone talking.

Coconut Flakes

coconut creamsicle margarita

For tropical cocktails containing ingredients like pineapple juice, mango and coconut milk, use shredded coconut flakes to rim your glasses. If you’re serving a dessert-like drink with flavors like caramel, chocolate or vanilla, use toasted coconut flakes to garnish the edges of the glass. Either way, coconut makes for a surprising and flavorful addition to any drink.