How to Rinse a Glass

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Some spirits, like absinthe or smoky Islay scotch, are too powerful to be the base of a cocktail—but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a role to play. Many recipes call for a rinse of a potent spirit, which imparts a subtle hint of flavor to the cocktail. Here, the best way to rinse a glass with alcohol.

Vessel to dispose of excess liquor (sink, mouth, bowl, etc.)

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Step One

Pour .25 oz of the spirit into the bottom of the glass in which you will serve the cocktail.

Step Two

Cupping the bottom of the glass, swirl in small quick circles, so the liquor at the bottom of the glass splashes around the sides of the glass.

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Step Three

Tip the glass on an angle so that the liquor reaches the rim of the glass, then slowly rotate the glass so that the liquid coats the interior.

Step Four

Discard the rest of the alcohol, either into a separate glass, the sink, or your mouth. Finish preparing your cocktail per the recipe.