The traditional margarita recipe calls for a salted or sugared glass rim. The salty or sweet taste complements the tang of the margarita's orange liqueur and the bite of the tequila. Steer clear of table (iodized) salt, which is much too salty for margaritas. Opt for coarse, large-granule salt that won't overwhelm the drink's sweet-and-sour flavor balance.
To prep margarita glasses for rimming, run a lime wedge around the top half inch of the outer rim. Do not press the glass straight down into the salt; instead, hold the glass parallel to the salt and roll it sideways, avoiding the inner rim. Kosher Salt
Kosher salt primarily is harvested from seawater and underground water sources. It undergoes minimal refinement and has a very mild salty taste and larger, irregularly shaped granules. Kosher salt tends to hold onto moisture very well and dissolve slowly in the mouth, so it is an excellent choice for salting margarita glasses.
Like its kosher counterpart, sea salt has large granules and comes from evaporated seawater and some underground sources. However, sea salt has a more intense salty flavor, making it a better choice for flavored margaritas, such as strawberry or mango. The stronger saltiness helps balance out the fruity sweetness. Try Himalayan pink sea salt for a rose-hued addition to your margarita glass, or extra-crunchy, pure-white fleur de sel.
Flavored salts are kosher or sea salt with flavors added. They are available in every flavor from vanilla to chili pepper -- but not every flavored salt is suitable for every margarita. Carefully consider flavor pairings before rimming a margarita glass with flavored salt. Although margaritas go well with flavored salts, other cocktails do, too. Try a Bloody Mary with spicy habanero pepper-flavored salt around the rim, or garnish a mai tai with coconut-infused salt.
Make a lime-flavored margarita salt. Soak overnight 1/2 cup of plain kosher or sea salt in the zest of one lime. The salt naturally absorbs the moisture and flavor of the zest.
Opt for a sugared rim if you prefer extra sweetness in your margarita. Avoid confectioner's or powdered sugar; granulated sugar works best and offers the option of adding flavor and color.
Create orange-infused granulated sugar. Soak overnight 1 cup of sugar in the zest of one large orange. Try this creation on your next Texas margarita (a traditional margarita with orange juice added).
Add color to granulated sugar with five to seven drops of food coloring for every 1 cup of sugar. The more food coloring you use, the darker the resulting color.