A Desert-Inspired Tequila Cocktail For All The Sage Lovers Out There

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Our makers are what bring the Food52 Shop to life, so we partnered with Roca Patrón to feature cocktails we love alongside exclusive products they've created for us—like these hammered copper coasters. Check out their stories (and products!) here.

While some herbs connote the height of summer (basil), hearty roasts and stews (thyme and oregano), or breathy, floral cakes (lavender), there's another that calls to mind a broader feeling of rest and relaxation, clearing of negative energy—and that's sage.


If you're like me and with every new home/apartment you end up in tooling around into the corners with a smoking hunk of sage in your hand, ready to rid any bad vibes before setting up shop, then you know the healing scent that it emits. There's something incredibly calming about it, ritualistic even.

Santa Fe Sage
Santa Fe Sage

So when Sallyann Corn and Joe Kent, founders of Fruitsuper Design in Seattle and makers of a few of our favorite, shiny things, visited our offices and whipped up this sage-forward cocktail (along with a view into their artistic process developing our exclusive new coasters), I knew it'd be the right kind of cocktail for me—a little rustic, a lot herby, and a tiny bit bitter around the edges.

The Santa Fe Sage mixes the relaxed preparation of a smash with a dressed-up simple syrup and a high-end garnish for a Southwestern-influenced drink. Deep, caramelly reposado tequila is joined in an ice-filled mixing glass with the sage syrup and orange bitters, and then stirred and strained into your glass over a single large ice cube. Garnish with an orange peel and one of the candied sage leaves—and then drink up, because it'll feel like you just made an revival elixir.

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Santa Fe Sage

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Makes 1 drink, plus extra syrup and garnishes

Sage Simple Syrup and Candied Sage Leaves

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more to coat the candied sage
  • 14 to 16 fresh sage leaves

Santa Fe Sage cocktail

  • 2 ounces Roca Patrón Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 ounce sage simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 to 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 candied sage leave and orange twist, for garnish
Go to Recipe

Roca Patrón is crafted using Weber Blue Agave and the age-old 'tahona' method, where you crush the agave with a 2-ton rock (!). See all their styles, from silver to añejo, here.

Tags: roca patron, fruitsuper, sage tequila