The right rim can take a good cocktail to a whole new level. For example, the sugar salt rim we used here:
Really made the Lillet Basil Slush sing. Similarly, we have a cucumber martini with crushed green grapes that goes to a whole new level when we add a sugar/cayenne rim for just a hint of spice.
Like most things in bartending, rims tend to work better if you use quality ingredients and make them yourself. Recently we were putting together a nice simple ‘spiked tea’ type drink and decided it could use a lemon-sugar rim. Instead of running out and buying a flat round can of what, essentially, is ground up lemon drops, we pulled out our mini food processor, some white sugar, and three fresh lemons.
We started by zesting the lemons (avoiding as much white pith as possible), rough chopping the zest, and placing it and one cup of sugar in the processor:
Pulse for 3-5 minutes until the zest is well pulverized. You want to pulse to avoid heating the mixture to the melting point of sugar. Next we put the pulverized sugar/zest mix in a mixing bowl and combined it with one additional cup of sugar:
Last we spread the mix on a baking sheet and let it dry at room temperature for about an hour:
That’s it! A very tasty lemon sugar rim. It worked out on our cocktail perfectly:
Don’t let the picture fool you, we ended up using Tito’s Vodka in the final version of “The Boston Tea Party” (sweeter and American made!)
1-1/2 oz Tito’s
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1-1/2 oz Orange Blossom Honey (1:1 with water by weight)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3 oz Twinnings Earl Grey tea (4 bags in 2 cups boiling water, steep for 5 min)
Lemon sugar rim and a grilled lemon wheel for garnish