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A good cocktail can become great when the rim of the glass adds extra flavor or texture. Thank about that margarita glass rimmed with salt [or sugar!]. A Cosmo would not be a Cosmo without a rim of bright sugar.

Here’s an idea Brian and I found quite unintentionally. We’re experimenting with a lemon tart and in the process had to make lemon sugar. It’s so good by itself that I immediately thought about using this citrus sugar for crowning my cocktail glasses.

Here’s how to make the lemon variety. In a bowl, place 1/3 cup of sugar. Zest one lemon, ideally with a MicroPlane zester. Add the zest to the bowl. With your finger massage sugar and zest together until you get a texture of wet sand.

Go ahead. Take a taste. It’s very good.

Now, for your cocktail, take a sliced lemon half and run it around the edge of a dry cocktail glass. Turn the glass upside down and twist in your bowl of lemon sugar. You may need to put the sugar first on a flat plate if the cocktail glass is too wide for your bowl.

Because the lemon sugar is “sandy” you won’t get the same smooth border you would with plain granulated sugar. Don’t worry about perfect converage.

Your glass is ready for your beverage: margarita, Cosmo, or just about anything.

I’ve called this citrus sugar because I believe you can find equal enjoyment with other flavors. Instead of one lemon, try two limes or the zest of a half orange. Grapefruit zest will work, too, of course.

Experiment, taste, and enjoy.

Source: Suzen and Brian O’Rourke