MerryRita Cocktail With Cotton Candy

Courtesy Michael Miles Photography

Courtesy Michael Miles Photography

This drink is all things merry and bright (although I did try to find some plain white cotton candy for this,  I kind of like how it turned out with the multi-colors). First things first: if you Google "how to rim a glass with cotton candy", you're unfortunately not going to find much in "how-to", although some sites suggest that you add a fluff, or pinch some on the rim, but that really isn't going to hold well and isn't very informative. So here's my quick tutorial:


How To Rim A Glass With Cotton Candy

  • Resist the urge to handle the cotton candy with your fingers as much as possible, as this will change the texture. Pull a large chunk off and then gently flake off pieces with a fork over a plate. You should have something that resembles this:
flaked cotton candy

flaked cotton candy

  • Take a cut lemon or lime and run the cut part along the outside edge of your glass. You can also use a standard glass rimmer to wet the edge, but be sure to wet it at least a centimeter down the edge, and not too wet, or you will simply melt the cotton candy instead of making it stick to the rim.

The next steps are your choice, depending on the look you want. I made this drink with all three, all the way around, but you can really just do one in a small area, like half way around the glass or even less if preferred.

  • Make colored lights or snow balls from cotton candy: Picking up a small clump of your flaked cotton candy with a fork, gently mold it into a ball and press it into the side of the rim, as pictured:
cotton candy snowballs

cotton candy snowballs

  • Make clumps of fluff or snow. Picking up a small clump of your flaked cotton candy with a fork, press and hold the part closest to the fork to the outside edge of your glass. To avoid it sticking to your fingers, hold it for a couple of seconds and release, as pictured:
cotton candy fluffs

cotton candy fluffs

Make garland. Follow the methods for fluff or snow above. Afterwards, gently shape and mold the fluffy areas into a wavy shape, as pictured:

Cotton Candy Garland

Cotton Candy Garland

And that's how to rim a glass with cotton candy! Although this drink features just your basic multi-colored cotton candy, you can make other variations, such as making your own different flavors of cotton candy, dusting your cotton candy with powdered sugar, candy sprinkles, and so on. You can even use these techniques to garnish a punch bowl.  And now, for the drink!

*One of the unique features of this drink is the use of fruit preserves, because that was always something my family received during the holidays. The one I used was essentially sweetened fruit, so if you use unsweetened preserves or plain fruit, you will need to add sugar to this or just substitute the lemon and water with regular sweet and sour mix . Also, this drink is served on ice. If you make this frozen, remove the rosemary from your muddled mix before adding it to your blender.

MerryRita Cocktail

Ingredients for 1:

  • 1 oz agave tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 oz water
  • 4 heaping teaspoons of blackcurrant preserves (you can use other flavors)
  • cotton candy


  1.  Muddle the preserves and 1/4 sprig of rosemary (reserve the top of rosemary sprig for drink garnish).
  2.  In a mixing tin, add ice, tequila, cointreau, water, muddled ingredients, and juice from 1/2 lemon.
  3.  Shake vigorously.
  4.  Take the discarded 1/2 lemon and run the pulp edge around your cocktail glass.
  5.  Garnish the cocktail glass with cotton candy as explained above.
  6.  Add ice to your cocktail glass and strain your mixing tin ingredients on top (straining is very important, or you will have a lot of muddled pieces in your drink). Be careful not to get the cotton candy wet!
  7.  Garnish with the top section of your rosemary sprig.
  8.  Enjoy!

(One thing to note: depending on the sweetness and tartness of your preserves, as this can vary from different brands or different fruits, you may want to save the lemon for last and add it to taste.)

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-Enhanced editing by GRAMMARLY-