Around the Rim: A Primer on Glass Rimmers


As a bartender, you know that the presentation of your cocktails is just as important as the ingredients that go into them. One way to enhance the appearance of your drinks is by using a glass rimmer.

But what exactly is this professional bar tool and what do you need to know about them? Keep reading for everything you need to know about bar glass rimmers, including what types are available, how to use them, and much more.

What is a Cocktail Glass Rimmer?

A bar glass rimmer is a three-tiered, multi-functional tool that is used to garnish the rim of your drink glasses. It’s made up of three compartments – one for water or lemon juice, one for salt or sugar, and one for bar condiments like olives and cherries.

There are various ways on how to use a glass rimmer. However, the short and long of it is quite simple. Just dip the rim of your drink into the water/lemon juice compartment, then into the seasonings before adding bar condiments to create a perfectly presented cocktail.

What is a Cocktail Glass Rimmer?

Types of Rimmers Available

Bar glass rimmers come in a variety of forms and sizes, including single and triple tier models. The most popular are triple tier bar glass rimmers as they provide bartenders with more than one garnishing option, allowing them to customize the presentation of their drinks.

The most common type is the Margarita glass rimmer, which is specifically designed for frosting and decorating margarita glasses. However, bar glass rimmers can also be used on other types of glasses as well such as martini or tiki style cocktails.

The rimmers are used in conjunction with other professional tools. One of them is sponges for rimmer glasses. While seemingly simple, the sponge works to make the rims of the glass wet. In this state, the various ingredients can easily stick to the glass when dipped.

How to Fill a Glass Rimmer?

Glass rimmers are filled with simple ingredients that you likely already have in your bar. For instance, for salt or sugar you can use either standard table salt or granulated white sugar. You’ll need to fill the water/lemon juice compartment with water or lemon juice depending on the drink being served.

The bar condiment compartment should be filled with bar olives, a pickled onion, cherries or other bar garnishes. It’s important to make sure that all of the compartments are filled evenly and securely so that the ingredients don’t spill when you dip your glasses.

Lining the Rim

There are many things that can be placed on the rim of glasses to make a plethora of drinks. Apart from the main ingredients – like salt – there are also adhering agents that need to lined so that the ingredients stick.

Let’s check out the top adhering agents and ingredients to use.

Top Rimmer Adhering Agents to Use


The first adhering agent we’ll talk about is water. It is the simplest agent, but its simplicity does nothing to take away how effective it is.

Water is simple and light, and perfect for lining the rim of your glass. Once the glass is wet, the various ingredients you want to use will easily stick and stay in place. This agent is used if you want to make the ingredients stick but not get in the way of the flavor of the various spirits.


The next agent you can use to line the rim of your glass is honey. This sweet adhering agent works best for drinks that have some sweetness in them, like a Margarita bar drink. It adds an extra layer of sweetness and coats the rim so that all the ingredients stick perfectly in place.


If you’re looking for something a little more creative than water or honey, frosting is always an option. You can use it to create beautiful designs if you have enough time and patience. Plus, it will make sure that all of the ingredients stick together nicely while adding a touch of sweetness to your bar drinks as well!

Chocolate Sauce

Another great adhering agent is chocolate sauce. This works best for bar drinks that are already sweet or those that you want to make even sweeter.

The creamy texture of the chocolate creates a nice barrier between the rim of your glass and the ingredients, making sure everything sticks together nicely. Plus, it’s also a great way to add some extra flavor and sweetness to bar drinks.

Citrus Wedges

Citrus wedges can also be used as an adhering agent when lining your bar drink glasses. The natural oils of lemons and limes will help keep all of your bar ingredients in place while adding an extra layer of flavor and tanginess.

Plus, if you’re looking for a bar drink that stands out and has some extra zing, this is the perfect adhering agent for you.

Citrus Wedges


The last of the top adhering agents for bar drinks is syrup. You can use either simple or flavored syrups to line the rim of your glass. This works best if you’re looking for bar drinks with a sweet flavor. Plus, it will give your bar drinks an added layer of sweetness and make sure all of the ingredients stick together nicely.

Top Rimmer Ingredients to Use


Salt is the most popular bar condiment for bar glass rimmers. It can be used to enhance the flavor of many drinks, especially tequila-based cocktails such as Margaritas or Palomas.


White granulated sugar can also be used in bar glass rimmers and is often paired with fruit juice to make sweeter, more refreshing drinks like Mojitos.

Lemon Juice

The acidity in lemon juice helps to bring out flavors in a drink while providing a pleasant tartness to the overall taste.

Bar Olives

Bar olives are a great bar garnish that adds a salty flavor and texture to drinks.

Pickled Onion

Pickled onions are an interesting bar garnish that can be used to add a subtle sweetness and texture to drinks.


Cherries are another bar garnish that adds color, flavor and texture to drinks.

Cocktails You Can Make with a Bar Glass Rimmer

A bar glass rimmer is an incredibly versatile tool and can be used for many different cocktails. Here are five favorites.


When people think of rimmers, one of the first drinks people inevitably think about the margarita and the salt placed on the rim of the glass to help complete its taste. This classic cocktail is made with tequila, lime juice and triple sec then rimmed with salt or sugar as well as bar condiments like cherries or olives.

Moscow Mule

The Moscow mule is a fun and refreshing cocktail that’s made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. To give it an extra kick, bar glass rimmers can be used to rim the glass with bar garnishes like bar olives or cherries.


This classic rum-based cocktail is made by mixing white rum, lime juice and simple syrup and then served in a chilled glass. Bartenders often use bar glass rimmers to frost the rim of the glass with sugar or salt for added flavor and presentation.


The cosmopolitan has been making waves since it debuted in the 1980s thanks to its tart yet sweet taste. This pink drink is made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice then rimmed with bar glass rimmers.


The mojito is another classic rum-based cocktail that’s served in a frosted glass. To give it an extra kick, bar glass rimmers can be used to rim the glasses with bar garnishes like bar olives or cherries, as well as sugar or salt for added flavor and presentation.


Bar Glass Rimmer Maintenance

As bar glass rimmers are constantly exposed to acidic liquids, such as citrus juices, it’s important to ensure that they are cleaned, dried, and maintained well after each use.

How to Clean a Margarita Glass Rimmer

Fortunately, cleaning rimmers isn’t as hard as one may think. It is as easy as dipping a glass in the tool and lining the rim

To clean bar glass rimmers, simply rinse them with warm water and dish soap. To remove any stubborn residue, you can use a soft sponge or cloth. A mild bleach solution may also be used for a deeper cleaning, but it is best to avoid using harsh chemicals when possible.

How Often Should I Wash a Glass Rimmer?

It’s recommended that bar glass rimmers be washed after each use to ensure that they stay in top condition and remain free of bacteria and other contaminants. It is also important to thoroughly dry bar glass rimmers before storing them away as any residual moisture can lead to rusting over time.

In the Glass and Around the Rim

When creating drinks, there are many things to consider. Naturally, the spirit or liquor used is important. It forms the base of the taste and is also what a customer prefers. However, apart from what is in the glass, it is also important what is put around the rim of the glass. The adhering agents and ingredients can serve to complete or even elevate the drink being served.

When placing these ingredients, there is no better and easier way than with a bar cocktail glass rimmer. It is a effective tool that makes preparing drinks convenient and easy.

If you aren’t sure where to purchase a rimmer for yourself, there are many New York City Bar Stores for you to check. Other than that, the New York Bar Store has all the professional bar tools you may need.

We hope you have learned about these margarita glass rimmers and employ them to maximum effect at your bar.

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