From Bloody Marys to margaritas, we’ve come to expect that certain drinks should be served with a salted rim. But why?
Yes, a salted rim certainly looks nice, and generally speaking, an edible ring of salt adds a delicious bite to an otherwise pedestrian cocktail. But isn’t there a better way to go about adding sodium to a beverage? One that doesn’t slough off on your lips and leave you awkwardly tonguing your glass?
There sure is, and according to a whole host of mixologists, the answer is as simple as adding the salt directly to the cocktail. No more futzing about with messy rimming.
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As Lifehacker explains, “adding salt directly to the drink also gives the drink maker more control over how much they’re seasoning; a healthy pinch is usually plenty.”
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If you’re feeling hesitant, a DIY saline solution (50 grams of salt to 200 grams boiling water) enables you to add it drop by drop.
As for the reason so many of our favorite cocktails benefit from added salt, Devon Tarby of Proprietors LLC, offered the perfect explanation to Eater.
“Salt makes ingredients taste more like themselves," Tarby noted. "Salt isn't just for savory cocktails, either. The addition of a small amount of salt helps brighten citrus and delicate flavors like fresh herbs and light fruits, dampens bitterness, and acts as an overall bridge between powerful booze and the more subtle non-alcoholic ingredients we tend to mix it with."