Ah, September in Sonoma County… The weather is still warm, yet the leaves are starting to change. It’s the perfect time to sip this end-of-summer cocktail while we savor the remainder of al fresco dining and contemplate whether or not it’s too early to bring out the Halloween décor. The warm earthiness of brown sugar and sage simple syrup mingles with the citrusy zest of fresh grapefruit and lime juice in this crowd-pleasing libation.
2 oz silver tequila
1 oz lime juice
2 oz grapefruit juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
2 bunches fresh sage leaves
1 Grapefruit (for garnish)
Flaky sea salt (for garnish)
Start by washing the fresh sage bunches and grapefruit thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities. Pat them dry with clean paper towels.
Prepare the simple syrup. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and water. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until all the sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add one bunch of the sage leaves to the pan and turn off the heat. Let the sage steep for at least 30 minutes or until cool to infuse the syrup with its herbal flavors. Once it has cooled, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean, airtight container or jar. *You can store the simple syrup in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
Slice your Grapefruit into wheels or wedges, depending on your preference for garnish. Rim each glass with flaky sea salt and fill high with ice.
In a shaker or mixing glass, combine the 2 oz of silver tequila, 1 oz of lime juice, 2 oz of grapefruit juice, and 1.5 oz of the infused simple syrup. If you prefer your Paloma less sweet, you can adjust the amount of simple syrup to taste.
Shake the mixture vigorously in a cocktail shaker with ice, or stir it well in a mixing glass if you prefer a gentler mix. Carefully strain the cocktail mixture into your prepared glass, and garnish with fresh sage leaves and a grapefruit wheel or wedge.
Responsibly enjoy your Brown Sugar & Sage Paloma as you soak up the final drops of Summer.