In the vibrant world of Tex-Mex cuisine, few things are as iconic and refreshing as a well-crafted margarita.  But if you’ve ever been to a Tex-Mex restaurant, you may have noticed a perplexing choice when it comes to the rim of your margarita glass – salt or sugar?  What’s the story behind this age-old debate, and how does it impact the flavor of your favorite cocktail?  Join us on a journey through the history and tradition of margarita rims as we uncover the reasons behind this tantalizing choice.

The Classic Salt Rim:

For many, the classic salt rim is the only way to enjoy a margarita.  This tradition can be traced back to the 1930s when the cocktail first gained popularity.  Legend has it that a bartender in Tijuana, Mexico, named Carlos “Danny” Herrera, created the first margarita for a customer who was allergic to all alcohols except tequila but found it too harsh.  To balance the flavor, Herrera added lime and triple sec, but the finishing touch was the salted rim, which not only enhanced the drink’s flavor but also complemented the tequila’s natural notes.

The salt rim serves multiple purposes.  First, it acts as a flavor enhancer, creating a perfect balance between the tartness of the lime and the robustness of the tequila.  Second, the saltiness can help to cut through the sweetness of any fruit-flavored margaritas, providing a savory contrast that elevates the overall drinking experience.  Finally, the salt rim adds a textural element, offering a delightful crunch with every sip.

The Sweet Symphony of Sugar:

On the flip side, there’s the sugar-rimmed margarita, a choice that may seem unconventional but is gaining popularity for those with a sweet tooth.  This alternative rim style has evolved over the years as mixologists experiment with flavors and try to cater to a broader range of palates.

The sugar rim is a delightful addition to fruit-forward margaritas, offering a contrasting sweetness that complements the tangy citrus notes.  This choice is often paired with tropical flavors like mango, strawberry, or passion fruit, creating a symphony of tastes that dance on the palate.  Much like its salty counterpart, the sugar rim also adds a unique texture to the drinking experience.

Ultimately, the choice between a salt or sugar rim comes down to personal preference.  Some argue that the classic salt rim is essential for an authentic margarita experience, while others embrace the creativity and variety that a sugar rim brings to the table.  So, the next time you find yourself at Nacho Hippo, embrace the debate, try something new, and savor the delicious journey of exploring the world of margaritas, one rim at a time. Stay Hip!


At Nacho Hippo, we pride ourselves in offering a diverse range of margaritas, allowing our guests to explore different flavor profiles and find the perfect match for their taste buds.  From margs with a Coronita topper to Hip Buckets, the possibilities are endless here at Nacho Hippo! Check out our full list of margarita options here.  If you are curious about what food items we feature on our menu to go along with our hip margaritas, visit us here.

Did you know that Nacho Hippo is part of the Divine Dining Group family of restaurants? Click here to view our sister restaurants, employment opportunities, and/or purchase gift cards for your next visit.