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Local Libations: The Sweet Zipper – a Sage Honey Margarita

2011 September 23
by RelayGuest

By Kat Durant

Local-Raw-Honey-vendorSan Diego, CANational Honey Month continues here at RecipeRelay – Sarah’s Homemade Honey Wine is still percolating, I’m really looking forward to hearing how it turns out next week.  In the mean time I am keeping with the honey theme and coming up with a honey based cocktail of my own.  I was lucky enough to get my hand on some local sage honey. My first thought was to mix up a bourbon libation but I also wanted to try and relay off Brianna’s Melon Melange Margarita which would give me a chance to use some newly acquired tequila.  I recently ate at El Agave, a restaurant and tequilaria here in Old Town San Diego which produces their own line of El Agave Artesanal tequilas and has them for sale in the liquor store below the restaurant. 

CLICK HERE for the full post and recipe.

I purchased a bottle of El Agave Silver – a blanco tequila.  In preparation for trying out my new blanco tequila I busted out my saved issues of Imbibe Magazine.  I was looking for issues featuring honey cocktails but instead I found one on garden herb cocktails.  Perfect – my backyard herb garden to the rescue once again!  I found a recipe that looked like a promising starting point.  It called for called for honey syrup, something I had not heard of before. It’s the same concept as simple syrup with equal parts honey and water brought to a quick boil.  Dissolving the honey in this way makes it easier to mix into an iced cocktail.  Honey syrup is a great alternative to simple syrup or agave syrup and it adds a unique earthiness to the tequila.

The honey I used was sage honey, which means that the bees who produced it fed on the nectar of sage plants.  I enhanced the sage-iness of the cocktail by using fresh sage muddled with lemon.  The overall effect of the cocktail is one of herbs tempered by honey which drives you to lick your lips after each sip. This is a light and refreshing drink that will make you want to hold onto that last bit of summer.

The Sweet Zipper – a Sage Honey Margarita

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Tools: cocktail shaker, knife, tall glass, muddler, sauce pan, shot/oz. measure glass
Yield: 1 Serving


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 6 fresh sage leaves (plus an extra sprig for garnish)
  • 1/2 lemon cut in wedges
  • 1 cup ice
  • For the honey syrup: pour honey and water into sauce pan and bring to a quick boil, let cool
  • In a shaker add lemon wedges and sage leave and muddle.
  • Add 2 oz tequila and 1 oz honey syrup.
  • Add ice and shake.
  • Pour into tall glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with fresh sage leaves and enjoy!