There are a couple of things that make a cocktail memorable. Sure, the taste is a big factor but its presentation and how it looks comes in a strong second.
And nothing can make a Margarita or a Paloma stand out more than the addition of a little spicy citrus salt.
But don’t let the good looks fool you, this decorative rim is not just providing texture and colour, but also a nice hit of contrasting flavours for those sweet-and-sour concoctions.
Prep a batch in advance and it will last you weeks or months (depending on how many cocktails you drink).
Now if you have any of the salt left after rimming your margarita glasses, it can also be used as a garnish on salads or as a finishing salt on grilled meat.
Spicy Citrus Cocktail Salt
Makes about 1 cup
1 cup kosher salt
Fresh zest of 2 whole large lemons
Fresh zest of 1 lime
Fresh zest of 1 whole navel orange
Fresh zest of a ruby grapefruit
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika (used smoked Spanish paprika for a smoky twist!)
Combine salt and citrus zest in a medium bowl and use your hands to massage and rub the zest into the salt, releasing the oils. The salt will start to turn a bit orange and will feel like wet sand. Add the red pepper flakes and paprika, and stir well to evenly distribute. Transfer to an air-tight container and store at room temperature.