This Classic Mistake Is Ruining Your Homemade Cocktail

Bringing the bar home is always a blast, but it can be difficult to recreate some of the delicious cocktails concocted at swanky establishments. Once the drink recipe is nailed down, there are plenty of features that can be added to transcend your cocktail experience, such as garnishes, specific types of ice, and glasses rimmed with tasty additions.

Adding some texture and zest, whether it be something sweet, spicy, or salty, to the rim of your cocktail glass completely revolutionizes your beverage into something new. Salt, for example, balances the combination of sugary and sour elements of a margarita, says VinePair. By adding a liquid to the rim of your glass, whichever spice you desire to add will stick to the glass and hit your lips with each sip.

It may seem like an easy feat, but it's surprisingly difficult to perfectly rim your glass. When poorly done, it not only makes a mess in the kitchen but a mess in your cup. Citrus acts as a great glue for your glass' edible adornment. In order to apply the sticky citrus, you can make a small incision in a fruit wedge to release the juices and then carefully run the wedge along the rim of your glass, or alternatively you can squeeze the juice into a saucer and dip the top of the cocktail glass right into the juice, shaking off any extra liquid (via Martha Stewart).

If you're decorating your cocktail glass wrong, your drink will suffer the consequences

As for how to get your spice to stick? It's all in the hand motion, reveals Martha Stewart. Take your desired accoutrement, likely salt or sugar, and pour it into a saucer. You'll want a decent amount in the dish (about an eighth of an inch deep as Martha Stewart recommends). This is where many self-taught bartenders make a mistake — dunking the rim of the glass into the spice rather than attentively spinning it. If the glass takes a dive right into salt, for example, it will stick to the inside of the cocktail glass as well and that makes for one salty margarita. By rolling the outside of the glass into the salt, you'll achieve a perfectly decorated glass with just the right amount of kick.

The same goes for lining your glass with something else fun like chili pepper or crushed peppermint bark. To avoid overdoing it on the bold flavors, only line the outside of the glass. If you've been embellishing your glass wrong all these years, prepare to be wowed by all your favorite cocktails. A flawlessly garnished cocktail will fool you into thinking you're enjoying a drink at a five-star lounge, when in reality you're on the couch with your feet up.