How To Make Colored Sugar For Cocktail Glasses [Fun For Parties!]

Have you ever ordered a beautifully rimmed drink from a classy bar or restaurant? You probably wondered if you could replicate it at home. But how exactly do you make the colored sugar for cocktail glasses? We've explored the research and have some phenomenal answers ready for you!

Making colored sugar for rimming drinks at home is simple. Essentially, all you have to do is add a few drops of food coloring to a cup of sugar. Then, you mix it, adding in the extra dye until it reaches your desired shade. Give it about 15 minutes to dry, and you're ready to go!

So, what's the best technique to try? What kind of sugar do you use? How do you get sugar to stick to the rim of a glass? Keep reading to pick up some vital tips in creating your perfect colored sugar rim!

sugar rimmed pink cocktails with lime wedge, How To Make Colored Sugar For Cocktail Glasses [Fun For Parties!]

What kind of sugar do you use to rim glasses?

various sugar in cubes and granulated

Before we move into the detailed how-to on mixing, it's essential to first talk about which variety of sugar to use. For the most part, the type you choose boils down to personal taste and what concoction you're creating.

Plain white granulated sugar is the most common to see in recipes. However, regular brown may also be utilized. If you want something a little more exotic, try a specialty item like turbinado or evaporated cane sugar. Turbinado is especially interesting because of its natural caramel-like taste.

Step-by-step walkthrough For Sugaring Rims

Alright, you've studied your recipe card (or your palate) and selected your sugar. Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty details!

Step 1

The first thing you'll want to do is measure out 1/2 cup of sugar granules. Pour it into a mixing bowl, plastic baggie, or jar.

Spoon with white sugar

Step 2

Add 2-3 drops of any liquid food coloring you choose. Shake or mix until blended. If it's too light, continue adding extra drops, one at a time, until the desired hue is met.

Four spoons with colored sugars

Step 3

Spread mixture onto parchment paper or a baking sheet to dry for 15-20 minutes. Break up any large clumps you see, and you're done! It really is that easy!

Crumpled piece of white parchment or baking paper on wooden table. Top view. Copy space for text and design element.

A note on storebought cocktail sugars

Although this piece is focused on homemade options, we understand it's not always the best option for everyone, every time. So, we want to at least mention the fact that colored cocktail sugars are available via retailers.

Due to the cost of the pre-packaged product versus how cheap it is to make at home, it's not generally recommended. Not to mention, you don't always know what was put into them. Whereas it's cheaper and fresher when you make it yourself, and you're aware of everything in it.

All of that being said, it's a personal choice. If you're interested in investigating retail versions, we've got you covered.

Click here to see Snowy River Cocktail Sugar on Amazon.

Recipes that benefit from a colored sugar rim

sugar rimmed pink cocktails with lime wedge

So, now you know how the colored sugar ingredient is created. Your taste buds are starting to tingle. Of course, our next step is to throw out some yummy examples of sugar rims in all their mouth-watering glory to inspire you!

How do you get sugar to stick to the rim of a glass?

To get a sugar mixture to adhere to the glass, you first need a wet element. Pour your chosen liquid into a shallow bowl or saucer, then dip the rim into it. Then, you can twist the rim in your sugar coating, and it will stick.

Let's go over a few popular options for your base liquid!

Citrus juices

Citric Fruit with Hand Squeezer

The citrus group imparts tangy, zesty flavoring when used. These always pack a fresh punch. Good choices would be lime, lemon, or orange juice. You can even slice a piece of one and rub its juice around the rim of the glass for a lighter taste than a full dip.

Diluted syrups

Raw Organic Sweet Light Agave Syrup in a Bowl

If you have a sweet tooth, the diluted syrup group is definitely for you. The stars in this bunch are honey, agave, caramel, and chocolate sauce. Remember, when using any of the syrups, they should be diluted first. Add a 1:1 ratio of water to accomplish this. Diluting mellows the flavor and helps thin the product just enough to make it less messy to work with. Add a 1:1 ratio of water to accomplish this.


water in glass bowl

Plain water is the way to go if you don't want interference from extra flavors detracting from the drink itself. It's also readily available and doesn't require any prep to use.

How do you rim a glass with cinnamon and sugar?

Delicious creamy homemade eggnog served in glasses with cinnamon rim decorated with anise star and cinnamon sticks with Christmas lights in the background

To make a drink rimmed with cinnamon and sugar, you must first create the mixture. Don't worry. We'll walk you through the entire process!

First, you'll need two tablespoons of each of the following ingredients:

  • cinnamon
  • white granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • honey or caramel ice cream syrup

Now, in a small mixing bowl, combine both sugars and cinnamon. Spread the blend out on a shallow dish. Grab a second saucer and spread your liquid on it. Dip the rim of the glass into the liquid, then twist it into the sugar mixture. Don't roll it. Try to get an even coating. Add your drink and enjoy!

Decorating a flute wirh sugar rim

If you don't want to deal with trying to find the right-sized bowls, plates, and saucers, a rimming dish can be helpful. It can take away some hassle and help you get a more consistent coating. The rimmer holds the sugar mixture, and its lid can be used for your liquid.

Click here to see Stainless Steel Cocktail Rimmer on Amazon.

How do you get peppermint to stick to glass?

White chocolate peppermint martini with candy cane rim

Peppermint is a superb and colorful addition to a sugar rim. It's especially popular to use in drinks during the festive holiday season. We recommend honey as your liquid base to affix this ingredient to the glass. Dip the rim in the honey, and then twist it into a plate of crushed peppermint. Unlike other coatings, this one needs a few hours to harden to be effective. Otherwise, the mint will crumble into your drink or your lap!

Do you put salt or sugar on margaritas?

Frozen lime margarita and blood orange margarita cocktail mix in salt rimmed glasses garnished with slices of lime and orange

Traditionally, margaritas have a kosher salt rim. Salt is well-known for its flavor-enhancing qualities. When it's present, sweet and sour profiles are both intensified. Extra sodium content also softens bitterness. With the classic combination of lime, Triple Sec, and tequila, a margarita virtually requires salt to balance the drink.

There are many people, though, who prefer a sugar rim, specifically with strawberry margaritas. This is mainly due to the fruity sweetness of this particular concoction. So scrumptious!

Wrapping things up

An extreme close up shot of a glass of strawberry Margarita and a beef taco in the background.

Whew! We bet that was a lot of information you never knew you needed about colored sugar and rims. It definitely was for us. In fact, we're starting to feel a taco and margarita night coming on!

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