Have you ever wondered what makes those frozen margaritas at the bar taste so good? It’s not only the top shelf tequila that they use, but also the margarita salt on the rim. Why does margarita salt make the drink taste so much better? It has something to do with our taste buds. Since margaritas are inherently a combination of sweet and sour (and bitter from the alcohol), the salt on the rim actually intensifies those flavors and mutes the bitterness. The sour notes will become brighter and the sweet flavors will pop out due to the saltiness of the salt.
Margarita Salt Trivia
- The alcohol in margarita is tequila, of which the US is the number one market, even larger than Mexico.
- You can buy fried margaritas at the Texas state fair.
- In 2008, the most ordered drink in the United States was the margarita.
- The world’s most expensive margarita cost $1,200.
Margarita Salt Buying Guide
For margarita salt, the most important thing that you have to look out for is the best before date on the can. Of course, the standard checks on the can will apply, like checking if the seal is broken, if the can has any damage, so on and so forth.
Make sure that the margarita salt you’re getting is in a can. This will make it easier for you to rim your margarita glasses, just dunk it into the can and you’re good to go.
Margarita Salt Production & Farming in Texas
Margarita salts are pretty niche products. That being said, it hasn’t prevented entrepreneurs from creating their own versions and selling them on the market. You can see variants from plain sea salt with a dash of lemon, all the way up to bacon margarita salts. There are some large companies that produce margarita salts, but most of the more artisanal ones are locally made.
Chemicals and Additives
With the demand for margarita salts growing and the competition becoming fiercer, producers are now adding chemicals and additives to their margarita salts. The three most common additives to margarita salts are:
- Maltodextrin – Preservative, used to extend shelf life.
- Silicon Dioxide – This is an anti-caking agent. Used to prevent the salt from clumping together.
- Modified Food Starch – This is used to improve the texture of the salt.
Are these additives really necessary? Well, to compete on supermarket shelves, yes. If you want to avoid these chemicals and additives, check out your local farmers’ markets or specialty stores, they should be carrying local brands that don’t use these additives.
Margarita salts are usually packaged in cans for easier application. For commercial use, pre-mixed margarita salts are sold and packed in bigger resealable bags.
Enjoying Margarita Salt
To use margarita salt, first moisten the rim of the margarita glass with either water or lemon juice, then dip the rim of the glass on the margarita salt mixture. After that, fill your glass with the margarita and enjoy.
Store margarita salt in its original container and in a cool and dark place. Don’t store it on the fridge as it may cake up.
Make Your Own Margarita Salt:
While this is in no way equal to artisan margarita salts that are made by those who are dedicated to their craft, we still think this is pretty darn good if you need margarita salt in a pinch for those home gatherings.
You’ll need 3 ingredients. Salt, lime zest, and orange zest.
Not just any salt will do. If you have sea salt, that would be the best to use as the saltiness level isn’t as high as the other salt variants and the texture is just beautiful for rimming margaritas.
If sea salt isn’t available, then Kosher salt is the next best thing. We think this option is the best if you’re considering price as a factor as it is much cheaper than sea salt and the taste is still comparable.
We don’t suggest using iodized salt as this may be too salty.
Two tablespoons sea salt (or kosher salt)
The zest of 1 lime (or lemon if you don’t have lime)
The zest of ½ orange
Just mix them all together in a mortar and pestle (or if it’s not available, a rolling pin will do) to stain the salt with the flavors of the zest. Transfer to a container and it’s ready to use.