Monica Caserta
Monica Caserta

Active writer, blogger and outdoor adventurest looking to explore more and have fun while doing it.

Bartending Ice Preparation

Rim or not to Rim Your Cocktail
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Bartending Ice Preparation


Glass Preparation:

Choosing the right glassware for your cocktails is key, but so is deciding to chill it beforehand. There are two ways you can go about this: either fill a chilled glass with ice and swish, or place them in the fridge before preparing drinks. Either way will work!

Chilled Glass

Chilled glasses are the best way to serve your cocktails. Glasses can be put in the refigerator before serving, or another common way is to fill the glass with ice before preparing the drink, swishing the ice around then emptying the ice before pouring. Either way will work and will chill your glass.

Frosted Glass

Often a recipe calls for a glass that is frosted to enhance the drink. There are a couple of different ways to frost a glass depending on the recipe. These are very easy to do and just take a little time before the drink is to be made.
Frosting your glass before making the drink is a great step to take. It doesn’t take much time and can make or break how strong of an alcohol taste you’ll get from it!
When it’s time to serve your cocktails, chilling glasses can be done two ways. One way is by refrigerating the glass before serving or filling it with ice beforehand and then emptying it after using. The other option is to pour into a chilled mug so both are equally cold for guaranteed satisfaction!
The most common frosted glass is simply put in the freezer or buried in ice cubes long enough to create a white frosted look on the glass.

Sugar Rimming

For drinks that call for sugar frosting, take the frosted glass and wipe the rim with a slice of lemon or lime. After this, dip in powdered sugar to complete the effect.

Margaritas are prepared the same way as sugar frosting, but the rim is coated with lime and dipped in coarse salt.


Rimming your glass? You may be doing it wrong.

Whenever your bartender asks “Would you like your cocktail rimmed?” The usual answer is, “Yes! Of course!” And why not? By rimming the glass with sugar, salt, or candy (depending on the drink of choice) you are adding another flavor, something to enhance your beverage. Right?

Candice Warren had been a bartender for twenty-five years. She had seen the trends come and go. When people started requesting their cocktails rimmed, she was skeptical at first. But she soon learned that it not only added flavor to drinks but brought her customers back with even more frequency than before. It seemed that after they got a taste of how much better an ordinary cocktail could be when rimmed, they needed their fix again and again.

Candice’s favorite drink to add sugar on the rim is her Rye & Coke recipe because it adds just enough sweetness without overdoing it like some fruit juices are wont to do–then you get too many flavors fighting against each other instead of enhancing one another in the way that rimmers were
But then again; maybe not. Here’s the thing – when rimming a drink you have to ask yourself, “Do I want that stuff all over my face and lips?”

For example, last weekend when out with a group of friends I ordered a choclatini (a grown-ups chocolate milk only with vodka instead of vitamin D) garnished with a nice ring of cocoa powder. While the drink was quite yummy and buzz-inducing, much to my friends’ amusement I was left with two lines of cocoa residue on my cheeks, making me look like I was grinning (quite literally) ear to ear.

So my advice to all of you rim job fans out there is to wipe off an inch or so, so you can sip without having to go through a handful of cocktail napkins.

Or you should only drink with friends who will tell you when you have something on your face instead of waiting until you go to the bathroom and find it for yourself. Despite my joker-esque incident, I am a fan of rimming cocktails with a little extra something. In fact, there are several drinks I simply will not order if the bartender isn’t dipping the glass into something first. 

Here are a few drinks that are rarely served bare and some tips on when (and when not) to rim them.

  1. The Margarita the classic choice for a good rim job, a margarita without a ring of salt just doesn’t feel like a margarita. When you should opt for a naked glass: If there is high-end tequila being used (if the bottle says Anejo, don’t rim-o) or if you’re having it with a meal other than chips and salsa.
  2. Mojito Since there is already pure sugar cane within the drink itself, I am torn on whether or not this is a good rim choice. If you’re a real sweet tooth I can see going down this route, but the mojito is a sugary lady already, so dentists beware. Naked glass: In my opinion, the mint garnish is enough.
  3. Lemondrop a personal favorite, the Lemondrop (citrus vodka, sometimes triple sec, and lemon juice) absolutely deserves a sugar seal. The sour lemon and the sweet sugar accent one another perfectly and make for one hell of a combo. Naked glass: Never!

Anything chocolate or vanilla-based this covers your chocolate espresso, vanilla/chocolate martinis, and coffee drinks. A dessert drink, the rim is the cherry on top.

For a naked glass: See above


If I learned anything from my time at the party, it’s that rimming is not for amateurs. I always thought if you wanted to spice up your drink- just dip a lime or lemon wedge in some salt or sugar and voilà! Rimmed and ready to go. Wrong! Apparently, there are more things to worry about than being classy with your cocktail presentation. The bartender told me there were a right way and a wrong way to do it; the right way he said was using fruit-infused liqueur as opposed to salt or sugar, that will change the flavor of your drink because sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for you (wink wink).

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