Salt in Cocktails: The How and Why

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It's no secret that salt and citrus pair well together. That's why we've teamed up with Napa-based aperitif company, Mommenpop, to bring you a few tips and applications for how to include salt in some of your favorite cocktails (hint: not just on the rim!). 

1. Why do you use salt in drinks? How much?

I use salt to balance a cocktail and make citrus and botanicals shine. Generally, a couple of flakes is enough.

2. Is there any time when you wouldn't use salt in a drink?

I use salt in most cocktails, again a couple of flakes is enough. I use it less in stirred cocktails but something like a mezcal Negroni benefits significantly from a pinch of sea salt.

3. What are a few of your cocktail recipes that benefit from adding a little salt?

Old FashionedReverse MargaritaEspresso Martini, and El Diablo - they’re all better with a few flakes of salt.

4. Are there any specific ingredients that really shine when mingled with a bit of salt?

All of them! Chocolate, pineapple, watermelon, berries, and especially citrus-- salt heightens their flavors. Try Mommenpop Seville Orange in a Reverse Margarita with a JSC Lemon Zest Salt rim to see what we mean.

5. What is the real difference in the flavor/drinking experience between putting salt on the rim and putting it into the drink itself?

Salt in the cocktail helps create a perfect balance, whereas salt on the rim is for anyone that wants that saline kick, such as with a margarita.

6. How do you decide whether to do a full rim or a half rim?

I generally do a half rim so that any guest not wanting a salt rim can drink from the unsalted side.

7. What kind of salt is best in drinks? Best on the rim?

Flaky sea salt, usually smoked, is my preference for both in drinks and on rims. The worst salt for drinks is table salt. Try JSC Pure Flake Sea Salt or JSC Cherrywood Smoked Salt.

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