Encrusting the rim of a margarita with salt is a classic cocktail move, but it turns out skipping the gritty-rim trick yet still using salt in your cocktail offers a bit of mixology magic.
Beyond the classic cocktails that have long incorporated salt, there are plenty of reasons for experimenting with salt in your drinks. Over at Saveur, they interviewed bartenders and mixologists to see how they are incorporating salt and experimenting with it:
“As in food, a pinch of salt can greatly enhance the overall flavor experience of a drink,” says Alex Smith, the bar manager at Cecconi’s Dumbo in Brooklyn. “Salt can help bring balance of flavor to a cocktail,” he continues, adding that it brightens sweet and sour notes while reducing bitterness. Smith makes a saline solution with sparkling water instead of tap water—he prefers San Pellegrino for its crisp minerality. Opting for a solution over a salt rim, according to Smith, “allows you to control consistency, ensuring that every sip tastes exactly the same.”
But the flavor enhancement isn’t the end of it. A small amount of salt mixed into a drink can offer additional benefits, too, such as stabilizing the whipped egg whites in a whiskey sour and creating a more pleasant and stable texture.
For recipe ideas and ways to easily add salt to your cocktails without overdoing it, check out the full article at Saveur for tips and tricks.