Make the sage simple syrup. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup of the sugar slowly, stirring until it's all completely dissolved. Add 6 to 8 lightly torn sage leaves. Simmer on low for 2 minutes and let cool with the sage leaves in the syrup (up to one hour). Remove leaves and store in a sealed jar, refrigerated.
Next, make the candied sage. Dip 8 fresh sage leaves in the sage simple syrup. Lightly dust both sides with sugar and place on wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Carefully remove the leaves with tongs and let cool.
And now, for the cocktail. Smudge the fresh sage leaves around the rim and insides of your rocks glass making sure to smash the leaves. Discard smashed leaves.
In a mixing glass, combine the tequila, orange bitters, sage simple syrup, and ice. Stir and strain into the glass with single large ice cube. Place candied sage across the glass rim and flame and express an orange peel onto the cocktail surface.