You haven’t truly made a margarita until you learn How to Salt a Rim of a glass. The secret is using a lime wedge to get the salt to stick! Change it up with a spicy mix such as Tajin, or get fancy by adding a salted and seasoned rim to Bloody Marys or another favorite cocktail.

Premier Cadillac Margarita is shown on the counter.

No-Fail Method to Salt a Rim

There’s just something about enjoying a margarita at a local Mexican restaurant…

Have you ever been to your favorite spot on a cool, spring evening and ordered a margarita on the patio? When the waitress brings it out, you can guarantee one thing: they know how to salt a rim.

It’s amazing how such a simple step COMPLETELY makes the drink!

While most enjoy this salty rim, many don’t know the history. A salted rim goes back to the first margaritas.

The sodium helps balance the bitterness of the triple sec, tequila, and lime.

And the result is… perfection. Especially if you live somewhere that loves its margaritas (like Texas).

So bust out your favorite margarita cocktail (like this Cadillac MargaritaSkinny Blood Orange MargaritaWatermelon Margarita, or Mango Margarita), make the perfect salt rim, and enjoy!

Serve up this mango margarita at a Cinco de Mayo party.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to salt a rim include:

  • Lime. You need whole limes. You’ll slice the lime and rub the wedges around the rim, which is what the salt will stick to. You could use bottled juice from the store, but it is messier.
  • Salt. The key here a larger-grain salt, like kosher or coarse sea salt. Salt that is too fine won’t stick to the rim as well. Feel free to change up the flavor with Tajin or another seasoned salt.

How to Salt a Rim

Below, you’ll find the basic steps for salting a rim:

Cut the Lime

The absolute best way to bind the salt to the rim of the cocktail glass is with a fresh lime.

Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to quarter a lime. Then, carefully cut a small slice down the middle of the lime, but don’t go all the way through.

Next, rub the lime wedge around the rim of the glass. Be sure you’re catching at least the top ¼ to ½ inch of the rim.

Dip in Salt

Choose the salt you are using. Be sure it is a larger grain. Kosher salt or coarse sea salt work best. You can also use Tajin or even sugar, depending on the drink. 

Pour the salt into a small plate or rimmed, shallow dish. You need it at least ⅛- to ¼-inch thick. Dip the rim of your glass that is coated in juice into the plate of salt. Spin it carefully to coat the outside and the inside of the glass equally.

Glass is flipped upside down into a pile of salt.

Pour the Margarita

Pour your favorite margarita or cocktail into the glass. Be careful not to disturb the rim you just salted!

The best margarita recipe being poured from a cocktail shaker into a glass with a salted rim.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: It is best to salt the rim of a glass just before serving, not more than 30 minutes early.
  • How to store: You should enjoy your margarita with a salted rim right away.

How to get salt to stick to rim? Without lime?

The absolute best way to get salt to stick to the rim of a glass is with lime juice. Citrus juices are the perfect way to bind the salt while adding extra flavor. If you don’t have a lime, you can use a little of the actual margarita or even a shallow bowl of water to dampen the rim.

What salt to use for a margarita rim?

The best salt to use for a margarita rim is one with a coarse texture. Opt for kosher salt or a coarse sea salt. You can also use Tajin for added flavor, and sugar works, as well.

This watermelon margarita is a fresh and flavorful summer drink.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Go big. Coarse salt is essential when salting a rim.
  • Mix it up. Use different types of specialty salts or go with Tajin to add a kick of flavor to your spicy margarita. You can even go with crushed graham cracker if it goes with the flavor of a drink. 
  • Sweet and sassy. Add some sugar to the rim of a glass for a sweeter drink like a daiquiri or piña colada. You can use brown sugar or cinnamon sugar, as well. The best thing about this method is it works for practically any cocktail!
  • Be careful. Take caution when you pour the drink into the glass so you don’t mess up the salt.
  • Serve it up. Stick the wedge of lime on the rim after you add the salt for the perfect garnish.

What to Serve with a Salted Rim

A salted rim takes just about every cocktail up a level, not just a traditional margarita. Test your cocktail-making skills with any of these recipes.

Of course, a classic margarita, like this Cadillac MargaritaSkinny Blood Orange MargaritaMexican 75Watermelon Margarita, or Mango Margarita are perfect with salt.

Or, amp up other cocktail recipes like a Blueberry Champagne CocktailFrozen Mojito, or a Peach Bellini.

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5 from 1 vote

How to Salt a Rim

You haven't truly made a margarita until you learn How to Salt a Rim of a glass. The secret is using a lime wedge to get the salt to stick!
Premier Cadillac Margarita is shown on the counter.
Yield 1 serving
Prep 2 minutes
Total 2 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lime or other citrus juice
  • Salt kosher, sea salt, or Tajin

Instructions 

  • Quarter a lime and cut a slice down the center. Rub the lime wedge around the edge of the margarita glass so that at least ¼-½” of the edge is coated.
  • Fill a small plate or rimmer dish with salt or Tajin at least ⅛ to ¼-inch thick. Dip the juice-coated glass into the salt, spinning it around to coat all sides evenly.
  • Pour your margarita or Bloody Mary drink into the glass, being careful not to disrupt the salted rim and garnish as desired.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 0.5g, Fat: 0.1g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 68mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 34IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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