Which Cocktails Have a Salted Rim?

If you’re looking to punch up your simple cocktails, try adding a salted rim to your drink! Just like food, salt can be added to alcohol to liven up the drink and bring out many different flavors from within.

Whether you are looking to add salt to your drink, or learn which ones to avoid, keep reading to learn about 7 delicious cocktails that traditionally have a salted rim (and how to easily make them at home).

1. The Salty Dog

The salty dog reserves the first spot on the list with the inclusion of salt in its name. Dating back to the 1920s, this classic gin recipe features grapefruit juice served in a highball glass with, you guessed it, a salted rim.

Modern variations substitute the gin with vodka, but the basic recipe is:

  • 1 ounce of gin or vodka
  • 1 ounce of grapefruit juice
  • Salted rim

If you want to skip the salt, this same drink combination goes together in the Greyhound drink. Just mix 2 ounces of gin or vodka, and 4 ounces of grapefruit juice.

2. Margarita

The classic margarita is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks that feature a prominent salted rim. While the true history may be lost to time, this drink was invented in or around Mexico in the mid-1930s.

The drink is made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liquor. It is usually served in a large margarita glass with a salted rim. The proper recipe for a simple margarita is:

  • 2 ounces of white tequila
  • ½ ounce of orange liquor
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • ½ ounce of agave syrup (optional)
  • Salted Rim

While you can always forego the salted rim on the margarita, the salt serves as a flavor enhancer for the drink combination. It truly is best enjoyed with salt. If you would like a margarita adjacent recipe without salt, try the Kentucky Club Margarita.

The Kentucky Club Margarita combines the traditional margarita ingredients but in different amounts to make the drink less tangy and sweeter. It's served traditionally without salt.

3. Paloma

If you’re looking for something similar to the classic margarita but love the grapefruit juice of the salty dog, then you’ll enjoy the traditional Paloma drink. Made with tequila, grapefruit, and lime juice, this tangy drink is more popular below the border than its margarita cousin.

Created around 1950 you’ll find this drink substitutes the grapefruit juice with the refreshing Jarritos grapefruit soda when drinking outside of the U.S. The salted rim brings out all of the fresh fruit flavors within the drink. You can also combine grapefruit juice and club soda for this version if you don’t have access to Jarritos.

To make the perfect Paloma, follow this list and combine:

  • 2 ounces of white tequila
  • ½ ounce of lime juice
  • Top with grapefruit juice or Jarritos Grapefruit Soda
  • Garnish with a salted rim

4. Michelada

The michelada drink is actually a style of beer cocktail that doesn’t actually use liquor. With creation roots in Mexico dating back to the middle of the 20th century, the michelada rose to popularity alongside putting lime and salt in beer.

To make the traditional michelada, combine the ingredients below and pour into a highball glass with a salted rim.

  • 1 bottle of Mexican lager beer
  • 1 Pinch of celery salt
  • 1 Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes of tabasco
  • ½ ounce of lime juice
  • Salted rim

5. Bloody Mary

The traditional bloody mary is often thought of as the ‘hangover drink’. First created in 1892 as a warm, non-alcoholic beverage, the drink came from Paris and made its way to the United States around 1920.

The story of the bloody mary goes that in the mid-1920s, George Jessel, a famous actor, and comedian ordered the drink and asked the bartender for half vodka and half tomato juice. He complained of a hangover and thought the drink would act as a cure.

By the 1960s the drink had risen in popularity. Throughout this time it was becoming widely accepted as a brunch or hangover drink. When a customer once asked for something to stir it with and was handed a celery stick, the garnish stuck around.

The traditional bloody mary calls specifically for vodka and unlike other cocktails, you’ll be better using a cheap, bottom-shelf brand of vodka. This is recommended to bring out all of the flavors in the drink. Make your own bloody mary by combing these ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of tomato juice
  • 2 ounces of vodka
  • ½ tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash of lemon juice
  • Salted rim
  • Delmonico glass

6. Mezcal Mule

A modern spin on the traditional Moscow Mule, the Mezcal Mule substitutes the vodka for mezcal in this smoky spirit. Mezcal is an agave-based liquor that has a smokier, richer, flavor than its cousin, tequila.

Mezcal is made in Mexico and usually features a red worm at the bottom of the bottle. In Mexico, the worm is usually eaten during a wedding by the maid of honor, akin to throwing a bouquet. You can choose to place the worm in the mezcal mule or leave it out.

To make a simple mezcal mule, grab a glass, salt the rim, and combine these ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of mezcal
  • 4 ounces of ginger ale (or ginger beer)
  • ½ ounce of lime juice
  • Salted rim glass

7. Prickly Pear Mezcal

Another mezcal drink on our list is the Prickly Pear. Made with several ingredients that you may not have lying around, this drink is the most complicated to make here. The mezcal and salt that are heavily featured in this drink complement one another beautifully.

In order to make this fancier drink, combine the ingredients below and serve in a high ball glass with a salted rim. Add in extra salt and a dash of Old Bay Seasoning to kick up the drink for an extra punch.

  • 2 ounces of mezcal
  • ¾ ounces of prickly pear syrup
  • 2” prickly pear fruit
  • ¾ ounces of lime juice
  • Salted rim glass

Why add a salted rim?

The salted rim is a classic cocktail technique that can be used to liven up any drink. Salty flavors are more intense than sweet ones, so adding salt will amplify the taste of your favorite spirit.

Whether you are looking for new ways to spruce up your cocktails or need help deciding which drinks have salty rims, I hope you found something helpful in this list!

These 7 delicious cocktails all traditionally have a salted rim and it's easy to recreate them at home with just few simple ingredients.