How To Garnish a Margarita – And What With

Since I wrote about how many margaritas to get drunk, I’ve received questions on garnishes. Margaritas can be tough to garnish properly because they have sweet and sour tones. So, it’s important to find the …

margarita with strawberry garnish

Since I wrote about how many margaritas to get drunk, I’ve received questions on garnishes. Margaritas can be tough to garnish properly because they have sweet and sour tones. So, it’s important to find the right flavor to add to the already complex flavors of the drink. 

The best way to garnish a margarita is with lime, but there are plenty of other options if you prefer something different. You can also consider fruits like peaches, strawberries, or even kiwis as a good substitute garnish for a margarita. 

Let’s break down these garnish ideas a little further. Keep reading!

What Do You Garnish a Margarita With?

You garnish a margarita with a salt rim. While people commonly choose this option, there are other options for you to consider. Sugar rims, smoked salt, and spices can make your margarita recipe even more flavorful and unique. 

I’ll go over some different garnish options below.

homemade classic margarita drink with lime and salt on rim

Rim Garnish Options

Let’s talk about how to garnish the glass rim of your classic margarita. Of course, you can go with a traditional salt rim, but there are other options out there for you as well. 

For salt with a more intense flavor, try smoked salt. The smoked flavor pairs well with sweet fruity flavors. (source: Patron) So, try this with a sweet or fruity margarita for the best flavor combination. 

Another great salt rim alternative is sugar. Sugar can help counter the sour taste of the margarita while enhancing the sweetness as well. Color sugar crystals work well, too, if you want to add a pop of color to your margarita. (source: Betty Crocker)

If you want a cooling yet sugary sensation, you could also try erythritol, which is an alcohol sugar (that doesn’t mean it’s designed for alcohol, nor is it alcoholic!)

So, give these different sugar rim ideas a try for your next margarita and see which flavor you like best. 

For a little sugar and spice idea, you can try a cinnamon rim. This would pair very well with any margarita, but especially an apple margarita for an apple cider creation. Pineapple is another fruit that goes well with a cinnamon rim. This sweet and spicy technique can truly help your margarita stand out. 

Fruit Garnish Options

You can also garnish your margarita with fresh fruit. Typically, margaritas pair well with a lime, but there are other options too. Using different fruits as a garnish can help you choose the type of rim you want. So, let’s talk about some other options besides lime. 

Consider using sweet fruits like strawberries or mangoes, which make great garnishes for a sweet addition to your margarita. If you want something sour, consider a kiwi or pineapple to add a more intense flavor to your refreshing drink. 

There are many different garnish options for a margarita, and each one can help bring a different subtle flavor to the drink. So, garnish your margarita depending on what flavor you prefer, and try out some different options to find your favorite. 

margarita with strawberry garnish

How Do You Garnish a Margarita?

To garnish a margarita, use the right glass and the right combination of liquid and salt (or sugar) for the rim. Garnishing a margarita can be tricky the first time, but it’s important to get it right.

I’ll go over how to properly garnish a margarita below.

How To Garnish the Rim of a Margarita

To garnish the rim of a margarita, you’ll need some sort of liquid. You can use a few different things to circle the glass, but many people choose to use fresh lime juice. This is convenient for making a margarita because people commonly use limes to garnish the drink.

Now, if you don’t have a lime available, there are other options for you. Limes aren’t always ideal because using such a thin liquid can make the salt not stick as well and come off before you finish making the drink.

Therefore, try simple syrup if you want a better option to ensure it sticks. It’s thicker and stickier than lime juice, so it can make whatever you put on the rim of your drink stick better. 

Once you choose your liquid, it’s time to apply it to the glass. This can seem tricky, but it’s easier than you may think. If you use lime, simply run the lime wedge along the rim of your glass. You may have to squeeze the lime a bit to ensure enough juice comes out onto the glass. 

If you choose to use simple syrup, put some of the syrup in a small plate or bowl first. This will help you not make a mess when applying it. Once you have the syrup in a container, dip the edge of the glass into the syrup, ensuring it gets coated all the way around the rim.

During this step, you can decide how thick of a salt or sugar rim you want. So, judge carefully. 

Finally, follow the same steps above for the sugar, salt, or spices that you want to coat the rim. Put it on a plate first, then go in with the newly dipped glass, coating the syrup or juice with your chosen ingredient.

Once you coat the rim, it’s a good idea to sit the glass aside for a few minutes to allow the mixture to settle before pouring your margarita into the glass. (source: MasterClass

barman serving margarita with lime garnish

How To Add a Fruit Garnish to a Margarita

No matter what type of fruit you choose for the rim, preparing it and applying it can be confusing at first. Start by slicing the fruit whichever way you want to. Different ways to do it depend on the look you want to achieve. 

A common way to slice the fruit is in a wheel. Slice your fruit into relatively thin slices, and cut a line into it about halfway through the fruit. This will allow it to slide onto your margarita glass and help it stay put. Similarly, you can cut a wheel, then slice the wheel in half. Leaving a half-moon shaped slice. 

Alternatively, you can slice the fruit into wedges that sit nicely on the rim of the glass and are easier to squeeze into the drink for extra flavor. So, choose your style of garnish depending on your comfort level, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes. 

When garnishing a margarita, there are plenty of awesome options for you to consider based on the style and flavor you’re looking for; you don’t have to just use salt to garnish. There are many different options out there for you. 

And remember, here’s how many margaritas it takes to get drunk – in case you ever wondered!