Hot Cocktail Ingredient: Salt


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When it comes to cocktails, salt can do much more than just garnish your margarita. The next time you whip up a drink at home, try adding a small pinch like you would to food—to subtly make ingredients pop. “Salt is a flavor enhancer much like sugar is,” says Eastern Standard bar manager Naomi Levy, who uses kosher salt to amplify cocktails like the “Guayaba Arabica,” which marries rum, guava juice, lime, cilantro, and coffee. Levy says that salt tends to work especially well in opening the flavors of winter-friendly spirits such as bitter amaro, fuller-style gins (like Dutch genever), and, of course, tequila (there’s a reason that margaritas are so great, after all). Just keep in mind: a little goes a long way. “You shouldn’t take a sip and say, ‘What a salty cocktail,’” Levy says. “It just helps you round out the flavors.”