Chefs have used it for years, though its origins with food go way beyond flavoring. In fact, it was first used as a method of preservation. Only in recent times, though, has this one ingredient found its way onto some of the country's best cocktail bar menus.
When we think about salt and cocktails, we inevitably think of tequila. Whether we're rimming a margarita glass or prepping our palates before sipping tequila, salt has certainly made a connection with spirits in these two famous ways, but the story of salted cocktails goes much deeper.
Think about your summers as a kid. Did you eat watermelon? Did you have a grandmother who used to sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt on her watermelon before eating it? If you've seen this before, it's the exact same principle.
To be clear, we're not talking about loading a cocktail down with salt to give it a salty profile. In fact, it's just the opposite. A small dash of Maldon salt or a drop or two of a homemade saline solution from a bitters bottle, and all the other ingredients in your cocktail, all the other flavors, will be enhanced much like your grandmother's slice of fresh watermelon.
The reason for this is science. Our palates can detect five different flavors, those being sour, sweet, bitter, umami, and salt. When you alter one area, it can have drastic impacts on the other areas. Small amounts of salt can help bring down bitter flavors in a cocktail while amplifying the others, for example. At the same time, salt and saline initiate the saliva glands, creating a heightened experience.
"Simply put, salt makes ingredients taste more like themselves," she continues. "Salt isn't just for savory cocktails, either," said Devon Tarby of Los Angeles-based Proprietors LLC in an article for Eater. "The addition of a small amount of salt helps brighten citrus and delicate flavors like fresh herbs and light fruits, dampens bitterness, and acts as an overall bridge between powerful booze and the more subtle non-alcoholic ingredients we tend to mix it with."
Salt can be added to just about any type of cocktail, whether stirred or shaken.
Cocktails can also be enhanced by the type of glassware you select to serve them.
And that's where the Luigi Bormioli Mixology Collection comes in. This diverse and exotic collection of cocktail glassware is ideal for showcasing those house made cocktail recipes that are poised to win awards, whether they contain salt or not.