When Scott Hackler took a trip to Jalisco with his brother, Matt, about five years ago, he couldn’t have predicted it would be the catalyst for a new business. But several distillery tours in the town of Tequila quickly evolved into an idea: bold, spicy margarita salt.
A blend of kosher salt, chile powder, and tart citrus fruits, Halo del Santo — “Saint’s Halo” — went through 19 rounds of taste testing before Hackler found the perfect combination of ingredients. But all that hard work paid off. Since its launch last year, Fort Worth-based Halo del Santo has made it to 16 states already and can be found in about half of the Spec’s stores across the Lone Star State.
“Our salt fits the Texan palate,” says Hackler, noting that restaurants as far north as Portland are serving up fresh cocktails rimmed with Halo del Santo.
You can find it at local favorites such as Fred’s Texas Cafe, Los Vaqueros Restaurant, and Billy Bob’s; at the latter, try the frozen watermelon margarita with Halo del Santo salt rim to get the tastes that inspired Hackler to found the company.
Packaged in a giftable tin ($14), Halo del Santo salt is great for parties, because you can salt the rim right from the tin. It also makes for an unusual ingredient in cooking. Hackler recommends pairing it with fresh cucumber, watermelon, or trying it in a recipe.
The company also recently released a line of traditional Mexican lollipops. The paletas enchiladas come in a package of six ($4), including two pineapple, two mango, and two watermelon lollipops infused with Halo del Santo margarita salt.
“I wanted to make traditional lollipops as a gift for Christmas,” Hackler says, “but my candy maker insisted I couldn’t give these away. They’re that good!”
Look for Halo del Santo around town or across the state, but as the website warns, you may never go back to regular margarita salt again.