Title:
Rim moistening applicator and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus and method for applying a sticky coating to a rim of a drinking container to add flavor to a drink and/or facilitate applying a granulated flavoring material to the rim. The apparatus includes a bottle containing a sticky liquid which may be flavored, and a removable applicator. The applicator includes a handle which may serve as a cap for the container, a stem, and a swab. The swab is immersed in the sticky liquid, and wiped round the rim of the drinking container. When desired, the drinking container is then inverted and the rim pressed into the granulated flavoring material to coat the rim with the granulated flavoring material. The drinking container may then be placed upright and filled with a liquid drink. The applicator may also be used to apply a flavoring to an inside edge of the drinking container to directly add flavor to a drink.



Inventors:
Fosmire, Daniel J. (LaMirada, CA, US)
Sevilla, Kathryn M. (LaMirada, CA, US)
Fosmire, Thomas V. (LaMirada, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/732616
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
04/03/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
426/420
International Classes:
B65D83/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
THAKUR, VIREN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AVERILL & GREEN (14831 E. Whittier Blvd. Suite 206, WHITTIER, CA, 90605, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An apparatus for applying a food grade liquid to a rim of a drinking container, the apparatus comprising: a food grade bottle; a food grade liquid residing in the food grade bottle; a food grade applicator comprising: a food grade handle; a food grade stem attached to the food grade handle; and a food grade swab on a swab end of the food grade stem opposite the food grade handle and residing inside the food grade bottle proximal to a base of the food grade bottle when the food grade stem is fully inserted into the food grade bottle.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the food grade handle includes attachment features for attaching the food grade handle to the food grade bottle to seal the food grade bottle.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the food grade handle comprises a cap threadedly attachable to a neck of the food grade bottle to seal the food grade bottle.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, further including a polyethylene liner pressure fitted without adhesives into the bottle cap for forming a seal between the bottle cap and the bottle

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the food grade swab is a soft approximately spherical food grade swab.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the swab is formed on the swab end of the stem by: winding a swab end of the stem around bunched material; crimping the wound swab end tightly on the material; trimming the material to obtain a desired shape; and tumbling the trimmed swab to separate loose material from the swab.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the liquid is a food grade sticky liquid.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the sticky liquid is a flavored food grade sticky liquid.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the food grade liquid is a flavored food grade liquid.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the flavored food grade liquid includes flavoring selected from the group consisting of chocolate, caramel, honey, mango, peach, apple, pineapple, strawberry, citrus, lemon-lime, salt, sugar, vanilla, cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, mint, and cinnamon.

11. A method for applying a granulated flavoring material to a rim of a drinking container, the method comprising: inserting a swab on a swab end of a food grade applicator into a food grade bottle containing a food grade liquid; immersing the swab in the food grade liquid to coat the swab with the food grade liquid; wiping the coated swab on a rounded inside shoulder of the bottle to remove excess liquid as the swab is withdrawn from the bottle; removing the coated swab from the food grade bottle; wiping the coated swab over a portion of a drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the drinking container; and pouring a drink into the drinking container.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein wiping the coated swab over a portion of a drinking container comprises wiping the coated swab over a rim of a drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the rim, and, after wiping the coated swab over the rim of the drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the rim, further including: holding the drinking container upside down; inserting the rim into flavoring material residing in a flavoring material container to coat the rim; and removing the coated rim from the flavoring material container.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein inserting the rim into the flavoring material container to coat the rim comprises inserting the rim into the flavoring material container containing a spice to coat the rim with the spice.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein inserting the rim into the flavoring material container to coat the rim comprises inserting the rim into a granulated flavoring material container containing a salt to coat the rim with the salt.

15. The method of claim 11, wherein wiping the coated swab over a portion of a drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the drinking container comprises wiping the coated swab over an outside edge of the drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the outside edge.

16. The method of claim 11, wherein wiping the coated swab over a portion of a drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the drinking container comprises wiping the coated swab over the rim of a drinking container selected from the group consisting of glasses, bottles, cans, mugs, and cups.

17. The method of claim 11, wherein wiping the coated swab over a portion of a drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the drinking container comprises wiping the coated swab around a rim of a drinking container selected from the group consisting of a glass, a mug, a cup, and a stein.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein wiping the coated swab around the rim of the drinking container comprises wiping the coated swab around an inside edge of the rim of the drinking container selected from the group consisting of a glass, a mug, a cup, and a stein.

19. The method of claim 11, wherein wiping the coated swab over a portion of a drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the drinking container comprises wiping the coated swab around a portion of a drinking container selected from the group consisting of a mouth of a bottle, a neck of a bottle, a mouth of a can, and a rim of a can.

20. The method of claim 11, wherein wiping the coated swab over a portion of a drinking container comprises wiping the coated swab over an exterior surface of a drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the exterior surface, and, after wiping the coated swab over the exterior surface of the drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the exterior surface, further including sprinkling a flavoring material over the exterior surface, the flavoring material selected from the group consisting of granulated flavoring material and powdered flavoring material.

21. An apparatus for applying a food grade liquid to a rim of a drinking container, the apparatus comprising: a food grade polyethylene terephthalate bottle; a food grade liquid residing in the food grade bottle; a food grade applicator comprising: a polypropylene bottle cap attachable to the bottle; a polyethylene liner pressure fitted without adhesives into the bottle cap for forming a seal between the bottle cap and the bottle; a stainless steel stem press fit to the cap without adhesive, the stainless steel selected from the group consisting of 304 stainless steel and 311 stainless steel; and a swab on a swab end of the stem opposite the bottle cap for residing inside the bottle, the swab formed by: winding a swab end of the stem around bunched material comprising a soft, absorbent, moisture transferring material; crimping the wound swab end tightly on the material; trimming the material to obtain a desired shape; and tumbling the applicator to remove loose material from the swab.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to application of a flavoring material to a drinking container rim, and more particularly to the application of a sticky liquid to the rim of a glass to facilitate the application of the flavoring material.

Beverage drinkers often prefer adding a flavoring material to the rim of a beverage glass. Generally, the flavoring material is a granulated material such as salt, sugar, or any granulated spice, which does not naturally stick to glass. Various methods and means are used to apply such granulated material to the glass, often failing to obtain the desired result.

For example, the glass may be moistened with water or lime juice. Unfortunately, when the water moistened glass is inverted to dip into, for example, salt, the water tends to run toward the rim of the glass and generally results in heavy and somewhat chunky coating of moistened salt, instead of a uniform coating. Additionally, when water is used to hold salt to a glass, when the water evaporates, the salt may simply fall away. Such result may be avoided by placing the water moistened glass in a freeze for a period of time, but this results in delays, and handling such icy glass may result in dropping and breaking the glass. Other methods are known, but all suffer from similar shortcomings.

Additionally, moistening trays may be used to apply a flavored and/or sticky liquid to the rims of drinking glasses, but an individual moistening tray is required for each flavor, and a large selection of flavors would require more space than is typically available.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention addresses the above and other needs by providing an apparatus and method for applying a sticky coating to the rim of a drinking container to add flavor to a drink and/or facilitate applying a granulated or powdered flavoring material to the rim. The apparatus includes a bottle containing a liquid which may be sticky and/or flavored, and a removable applicator. The applicator includes a handle which may also serve as a cap for the container, a stem, and a swab. The swab is immersed in the liquid in the container, and wiped around the rim of the drinking container. When desired, the drinking container is then inverted and the rim pressed into the granulated or powdered flavoring material to coat the rim with the flavoring material. The drinking container may then be placed upright and filled with a liquid drink. The applicator may also be used to apply a flavoring to an inside edge of the drinking container to directly add flavor to a drink, for example chocolate syrup and a milk drink.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided an apparatus for applying a sticky and/or flavored liquid to a rim of a drinking container to facilitate coating the rim with a granulated flavoring material. The apparatus includes a bottle containing the liquid and an applicator. The applicator includes a handle which may be a threaded bottle cap, a stem attached to the handle, and a swab on an end of the stem opposite the handle and residing inside the bottle proximal to a base of the bottle when the cap is fully threaded onto the bottle.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for applying a granulated flavoring material to a rim of a drinking container (for example, a drinking glass). The method includes: positioning a drinking container for application of a granulated flavoring material; applying a humanly consumable sticky and/or flavored liquid coating to a rim of the drinking container; holding the drinking container upside down; inserting the rim into a container containing a granulated flavoring material to coat the rim; removing the drinking container from the container; and pouring a drink into the drinking container.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, apparatus is provided to allow multiple applications of liquids and granulated flavoring material, application to multiple sizes and shapes of containers, preventing spilling or overflow, easy transportation, less cleanup, reduced contamination, selective application to the top, inside, and/or outside of a container rim, and artistic designs and patterns.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

The above and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following more particular description thereof, presented in conjunction with the following drawings wherein:

FIG. 1A is a prior art drinking container for drinking.

FIG. 1B the drinking container with a prior art irregular granulated flavoring material coating a rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 2 is apparatus according to the present invention for applying a humanly consumable sticky and/or flavored liquid to the rim of the glass.

FIG. 2A shows an applicator and bottle according to the present invention.

FIG. 2B shows a cross-sectional view of a swab and swab end according to the present invention of the applicator taken along line 2B-2B of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 2C shows a cross-sectional view of a cap and cap liner according to the present invention of the applicator taken along line 2C-2C of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3A shows the applicator ready to apply the liquid to the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 3B shows the drinking container with the liquid partially applied to the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 3C shows the drinking container with the liquid fully applied to half of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 3D shows the drinking container with the liquid fully applied to the entire rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 4 shows the drinking container held upside down above a container of the granulated flavoring material.

FIG. 5 shows the drinking container with the rim uniformly coated with the granulated flavoring material.

FIG. 6 shows a granulated or powdered flavoring material being sprinkled onto the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 7A shows the applicator ready to apply the liquid to the inside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 7B shows the drinking container with the liquid partially applied to the inside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 7C shows the drinking container with the liquid fully applied to half of the inside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 7D shows the drinking container with the liquid fully applied to the entire inside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 8A shows the applicator ready to apply the liquid to the outside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 8B shows the drinking container with the liquid partially applied to the outside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 8C shows the drinking container with the liquid fully applied to half of the outside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 8D shows the drinking container with the liquid fully applied to the entire outside edge of the rim of the drinking container.

FIG. 9 is a method for applying the flavoring material to the rim of the drinking container according to the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a method for applying a flavored liquid to the inside edge of the rim of the drinking container according to the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a method for applying the flavoring material to a mouth or neck of a bottle or can.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding components throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following description is of the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of describing one or more preferred embodiments of the invention. The scope of the invention should be determined with reference to the claims.

A prior art drinking container 10 for drinking, for example a margarita glass, is shown in FIG. 1, and the drinking container 10 with a granulated (or powdered) flavoring material 12 coating a rim 11 of the drinking container 10 using prior art methods is shown in FIG. 1B. When applied using known methods, the granulated flavoring material 12 is often irregular, having voids 14a with no coating, and chunks 14b of excess coating. Such irregular coating is both visually displeasing and affects the taste of the drink.

Apparatus 20 according to the present invention for applying a humanly consumable sticky and/or flavored liquid 22 to the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 2, an applicator 24 and bottle 21 according to the present invention are shown in FIG. 2A, a cross-sectional view of a swab and swab end of the applicator taken along line 2B-2B of FIG. 2A is shown in FIG. 2B, and a cross-sectional view of a cap 26 and cap liner 26a of the applicator 24 taken along line 2C-2C of FIG. 2A is shown in FIG. 2C. The bottle 21 may be any suitable container, and may be a plain bottle as shown, or a decorated or highly decorated container suitable for parties and other social gatherings. The bottle 21 includes a neck 21a and a base 21b. The neck 21a preferably is a threaded neck. The food grade bottle 21 is preferably made from, for example, polyethylene terephthalate.

The bottle 21 is preferably between approximately two inches and approximately twelve inches tall, more preferably between approximately two inches and approximately four inches tall and most preferably approximately three inches tall. The bottle 21 is also preferably between approximately ½ inches and approximately four inches in diameter, more preferably between approximately 1.5 inches and approximately three inches in diameter and most preferably approximately 1.75 inches in diameter. Such dimensions provide an efficient utilization of space and allow a much larger number of flavors than would be possible using moistening trays. The bottle 21 volume may be in one of three ranges; a pocket/personal size of less than approximately two ounces; a general or home use size of between approximately two ounces and approximately four ounces; and a bulk or commercial size greater than approximately four ounces, and the bottle volume is preferable between approximately two ounces and approximately four ounces.

The food grade liquid 22 may be flavorless or flavored, and is preferably flavored and more preferably flavored with a flavor associated with a beverage, for example a margarita, and have a flavor suggesting, for example, lime, peach, and the like. A preferred sticky food grade liquid 22 may be made from corn syrup. Other ingredients may include arabic gum and flavoring agents.

The applicator 24 includes the handle 26 which preferably also serves as a cap for the bottle 21, and is more preferably a threaded cap for screwing onto the threaded neck 21a. A stem 28 extends from the handle 26, and a swab 30 is attached to a swab end 28a of the stem 28 opposite the handle 26. The neck 21a opening is preferably between approximately ¼ inches and approximately two inches in diameter, more preferably between approximately one inch and approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, and most preferably approximately 1.25 inches in diameter. The neck 21a has an inside shoulder 21c to allow removal of excess liquid from the swab 30. The shoulder 21c preferably at least approximately ⅛ inches deep, and is more preferably between approximately ⅛ inches and approximately ¼ inches deep and is preferably a rounded shoulder to allow controlled removal of excess liquid.

The stem 28 is preferably made from between approximately 1/32 inches and approximately ¼ inches diameter stainless steel wire or polyethylene plastic, and more preferably made from between approximately 0.060 inches and approximately 0.062 diameter stainless steel wire. The stem is further preferably made from a stainless steel alloy selected to survive in a variety of liquids anticipated for use with the present invention, and more preferably made from 300 series stainless steel, and most preferably from 304 stainless steel or 311 stainless steel. A small stem diameter is preferred because a larger diameter stem may collect excess liquid resulting in dripping or spilling when used. The stem 28 does not necessarily extend the swab 30 to the bottom of the bottle 21 but preferably positions the swab 30 inside the bottle 21 proximal to a base 21b of the food grade bottle when the stem 28 is fully inserted into the food bottle. The stem 28 is preferably between approximately 1.5 inches and approximately five inches long, and is more preferably between approximately two inches and approximately 3.5 inches long, and most preferably between approximately 2.5 inches and approximately 2.75 inches long.

The swab 30 is absorbent, retains a sufficient volume of liquid, and applies the liquid 22 uniformly. The swab is preferably made from a soft, absorbent, moisture transferring material, for example, polyester fiber, sponge, cotton fiber, wool fiber, polyurethane, nylon, nylon taffeta, neoprene, mohair, or other synthetic or natural fibers, and is more preferably made from wool fiber. The swab 30 may be as small as approximately ⅛ inches across and as great as approximately two inches across, and is preferably between approximately ½ inches and approximately ¾ inches across, and is preferably approximately spherical in shape. The swab 30 is preferably formed and attached to the stem 28 by winding a swab end 28a of the stem 28 around bunched material (for example fibers) 30a, crimping the wound swab end 28a tightly on the material, trimming the material 30a to obtain a desired shape, and tumbling the trimmed swab to separate loose material from the swab 30.

Similar applicators used for glue and the like are not food grade, and an applicator made from food grade materials required several novel features to prevent contamination of the liquid 22. The handle 26 is preferably made from polypropylene and includes a polyethylene liner 26a (see FIG. 2C) preferably pressure fitted without adhesive inside the cap for providing a seal when the handle 26 is a cap for the bottle 21.

The stem 28 preferably positions the swab 30 proximal to the base 21b of the bottle 21 when the handle 26 is fully attached to the bottle 21. The applicator 24 is generally inserted back into the bottle when not is use, thereby eliminating any need to clean and store the applicator between uses. The stem 28 is preferably a stainless steel stem and is preferably pressed into the handle 26 and held by a press fit without adhesive. Known applicators are made by gluing a stem to a cap, but such gluing is likely to lead to contamination of the bottle 21 contents and is not a suitable food grade product. Generally, the applicator 24 will be sterilized just prior to packaging, in addition to earlier sterilization.

The drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 3A with the applicator 24 ready to apply the liquid 22 to the rim 11 of the drinking container 10. The drinking container 10 with the liquid 22 partially applied to the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 3B. The drinking container 10 with the liquid 22 fully applied to about half of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 3C. The drinking container 10 with the liquid 22 fully applied to the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 3D.

The drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 4 held upside down above a container 34 of the granulated (or powdered) flavoring material 12 and the drinking container 10 with the rim 11 uniformly coated with the granulated flavoring material 12 is shown in FIG. 5. The application of the liquid 22 described in FIGS. 3A through 3D thus provides a uniform sticky surface for adhering the granulated (or powdered) flavoring material 12 to the rim 11. While a similar result might be obtained by simply pouring a liquid in a dish and dipping the rim 11 of the drinking container 10, such method wastes a large amount of the liquid. Such waste is avoided by use of the applicator 24 and method of the present invention.

An alternative method for applying the granulated or powdered flavoring material 12 to the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 6. A shaker 35 is held above the rim 11 coated with the liquid 22.

The applicator 24 is shown ready to apply the liquid 22 to the inside edge 11a of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 in FIG. 7A, the drinking container 10 with the liquid 22 partially applied to the inside edge 11a of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 7B, the drinking container 10 with the liquid 22 fully applied to half of the inside edge 11a of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 7C, and the drinking container 10 with the liquid 22 fully applied to the entire inside edge 11a of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 is shown in FIG. 7D. Such application of the liquid 22 to the inside 11a of the rim 11 is described in the method of FIG. 10. An example of such application to the inside 11a of the rim 11 is the application of chocolate syrup to the inside edge 11a of a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. The chocolate is in close proximity to a drinker's nasal passages, and the aroma of the chocolate is strongly sensed during drinking, thus providing an increased sense of flavor without as much flavoring actually used. The result is both a cost savings in using less flavoring, and reduced intake of calories resulting in improved health, especially in children who often use large amounts of flavoring in drinks.

In other cases, for example, applying a food grade flavored liquid to a bottled drink, the present invention may be used to apply the food grade flavored liquid to an outside edge of the bottle's mouth or neck, or an outside surface proximal to an opening tab of a canned drink, preferably before opening the bottle or can to avoid spilling. In the instance of oversized glasses, having rims with diameters of five to six inches or even greater, known dipping trays are not large enough to accept the rims. The applicator 24 and methods according to the present invention do not have a size limitation.

Further, in some instances the present invention may be used to apply a pattern of shapes and/or colors of a food grade colored liquid to any drink container to enhance the appearance of the drink. Such pattern may be swirls, stripes, dots, or any other design. In other instances, designs in different colors may be applied, for example, circling the rim, neck, or mouth of a beer bottle with a red band, a white band, and a blue band for a fourth of July party or with green, white, and red for Cinco de Mayo. A beer bottle might be decorated with green for Saint Patrick's Day. Further, the granulated or powdered material may be selectively applied over the liquid by sprinkling or shaking after a single application of the liquid, or be applied sequentially with multiple alternating passes of liquid and granulated or powdered material to create a multi-colored design. Such ability to creatively decorate drink containers of all kinds provides fun activities for parties and other gatherings which is not possible with dipping trays.

The applicator 24 is shown ready to apply the liquid to the outside edge 11b of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 in FIG. 8A. The applicator 24 is shown with the liquid partially applied to the outside edge 11b of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 in FIG. 8B. The applicator 24 is shown with the liquid fully applied to half of the outside edge 11b of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 in FIG. 8C. The applicator 24 is shown with the liquid fully applied to the entire outside edge 11b of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 in FIG. 8D. The liquid may be similarly applied to an outside edge of a mouth or neck of a bottle or can.

A method for applying the granulated or powdered flavoring material, to a portion of a drinking container, according to the present invention is described in FIG. 9. The method includes: inserting a swab on a swab end of a food grade applicator into a food grade bottle containing a food grade liquid at step 40; immersing the swab in the food grade liquid to coat the swab 30 with the food grade liquid at step 42; wiping excess liquid from the swab on a rounded inside shoulder of the bottle, as the swab is withdrawn from the bottle, at step 43; removing the coated swab from the food grade bottle at step 44; wiping the coated swab over a rim of the drinking container to apply the food grade liquid to the rim at step 46, holding the drinking container upside down at step 48, inserting the rim into a container containing a granulated or powdered flavoring material to coat the rim at step 50, removing the drinking container from the container at step 52, and pouring a drink into the drinking container at step 54. The food grade liquid is preferably a sticky liquid, a flavored sticky liquid, or a flavored liquid, and may preferably be flavored with a flavor commonly associated with, for example, coffee, milk, a martini, or a margarita, and the like. The granulated or powdered flavoring material is preferably a spice such as sugar, colored sugar, flavored sugar (for example, fruit flavored), any sugar based spice, salt, colored salt, or flavored salt, and more preferably a martini spice, a salt, or a flavored salt, and most preferably, in the instance of a martini, a martini spice or sugar, or in the instance of a margarita, a margarita salt.

A method for applying a flavored liquid to a portion of a drinking container comprising the inside edge 11a of the rim 11 of the drinking container 10 according to the present invention is described in FIG. 10. The method includes: inserting a swab on a swab end of a food grade applicator into a food grade bottle containing a food grade liquid at step 40; immersing the swab in the food grade liquid to coat the swab with the food grade liquid at step 42; wiping excess liquid on the swab on a rounded inside shoulder of the bottle, as the swab is withdrawn from the bottle, at step 43; removing the coated swab from the food grade bottle at step 44; wiping the coated swab over an inside edge at step 56; and pouring a drink into the drinking container at step 54. The pouring step 54 is preferably performed last to prevent contamination of the applicator 24 by the beverage. This method is shown in FIGS. 7A-7D.

While the methods of FIGS. 9 and 10 have been shown in FIGS. 3A-8D applied to a cocktail glass, the methods may similarly be applied to a coffee mug, a tea cup, a common glass, a beer bottle, and the like, and may be applied to the inside of the rim, and/or the top of the rim, and/or the outside of the rim. Further, the methods of the present invention may be applied to decorating serving plates, dishes, trays, and bowls, for example applying a decorative pattern to a cake server for a group or to an ice cream bowl for an individual serving. Additionally, the applicator of the present invention may be used to apply a liquid to serving or eating utensils, or to drinking straws.

A method for applying the granulated or powdered flavoring material, to a neck or mouth of a bottle or can, according to the present invention is described in FIG. 11. The method includes: inserting a swab on a swab end of a food grade applicator into a food grade bottle containing a food grade liquid at step 40; immersing the swab in the food grade liquid to coat the swab 30 with the food grade liquid at step 42; wiping excess liquid from the swab on a rounded inside shoulder of the bottle, as the swab is withdrawn from the bottle, at step 43; removing the coated swab from the food grade bottle at step 44; wiping the coated swab over a neck or mouth of a bottle or can at step 60; optionally shaking or sprinkling a granulated or powered flavoring material over the bottle or can at step 62; and opening the bottle or can to permit consumption at step 64. The shaking or sprinkling technique may also be used for other applications such as sprinkling decorative candy on plates, dishes, bowls, or silverware. The liquid and the flavoring material may be any of the liquids or flavoring materials described above for the methods of FIGS. 9 and 10.

While the present invention is particularly suited to drinks such as a martini or margarita, there are a variety of applications where a light coating of a flavoring may be applied to the rim of a drinking container to provide a desired flavor or even an intensely noticeable aroma further enhancing the flavor and sensory experience. For example, the bottle may contain a chocolate syrup or caramel to be applied to the rim of a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or to any drinking container. Such application provides both flavoring for the drink, and a noticeable fragrance when drinking. Other flavors may be applied to a drinking container containing other drinks to provide a desired flavor, for example, honey, mango, peach, apple, pineapple, strawberry, citrus (for example, lemon-lime), sugar, vanilla, cherry, cinnamon, pomegranate, peppermint, mint, pepper, tabasco, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, maple, orange, tangerine, any fruit, any combination of these flavors, or the like. The present invention may be practiced with a variety of drinks including margaritas, beer, any lemon-lime (e.g. a 7-UP® beverage), a cola, tea (hot or cold), coffee, milk, root beer, lemonade, wine, martini, horchata, mojito, or any other drink or desert drink in particular. The liquid may also be neutral (have no flavor) and serve as a bonding agent for the granulated or powered material.

The present invention may be practiced at home, on an aircraft or watercraft, in a bar, a tea shop, a coffee shop, campground, park, parties, sports events, or any other location or event where drinks, or desert drinks in particular, are enjoyed. The present invention may be used to apply a food grade liquid to any drinking glass, ceramic cup, mug, stein, parfait, metallic cup, bottle, aluminum can, aluminum cup, aluminum bottle, plastic cup, paper cup, styrofoam cup, or any type bottle or drinking container regardless of size or shape.

The bottle 21 and applicator 24 of the present invention may be sold including a liquid in the bottle 21, or may be sold with the bottle 21 empty to allow filling with a liquid by the user. The apparatus of the present invention may be sold with the liquid in the bottle 21 and the applicator 24 attached to the bottle with the swab 30 immersed in the liquid, or with a shipping cap on the bottle 21 and the applicator 24 packaged with but separate from the sealed bottle 21.

While the invention herein disclosed has been described by means of specific embodiments and applications thereof, numerous modifications and variations could be made thereto by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention set forth in the claims.