This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

This Brown Sugar Sage Ginger Paloma is a tried and true favorite that everyone can enjoy. Homemade ginger syrup with fresh sage and star anise, mixed with grapefruit juice and tequila if you choose. Then topped off with bubbly grapefruit ginger seltzer for the perfect holiday drink. Great for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all of your upcoming holiday parties. Make a large batch to serve to family and friends this season, this is so easy to create.

Brown Sugar Sage Ginger Paloma (with mocktail) |

If you look back through the 7 pages of cocktail recipes on this website, you’ll see one of the first-ever drinks I shared was a Pomegranate Ginger Paloma. It’s a cocktail I make every season, often times I’ll make it spicy. But my White Christmas Mojito, North Pole Cocktail, and Christmas Sangria are the drinks that got me excited to explore holiday cocktails even more.

Since first creating those recipes, I’ve really enjoyed sharing new holiday drinks every single November and December. Sharing a new Paloma recipe brings back all those memories of learning how to properly mix a drink. I was just starting out!

And today we’ve got a fresh new Paloma recipe. It has a sage ginger syrup that really highlights the wonderful flavors of this holiday season.

You can create a pitcher for a crowd or omit the alcohol altogether and mix up a mocktail. Whatever option you choose, this is the perfect drink to kick off Thanksgiving week and welcome yet another busy holiday season!

The details

Step 1: make the sage and ginger syrup

It’s a mix of brown sugar or honey, I usually use honey, but brown sugar does add a bit of holiday specialness.  Then fresh ginger, sage, and star anise. The star anise adds a hint of peppery spice, but it’s not intense, it’s just right.

Step 2: the salted vanilla sugar

We all know I love to add an air of specialness to each cocktail. For this drink, it’s the salted vanilla sugar around the rim of each glass.

Now the salty rim isn’t a must, but it sure is delicious. A mix of flaked Maldon sea salt, coarse sugar, and vanilla extract really makes this Paloma sparkle. 

Step 3: the Paloma

Mix the grapefruit juice, lime, and tequila (if using). Add as much syrup as you’d like, then top the drink off with a grapefruit seltzer or ginger beer. I love to use the Betty Buzz grapefruit seltzer. It’s very bubbly and not too sweet.

Looking for other easy Thanksgiving cocktails?? Here are my favorites: 

Spiced Maple Bourbon Fizz

Cranberry Bourbon Sour

Creamy Coconut White Russian

Vanilla Espresso Martini

Vanilla Chai Old Fashioned

Spicy Pomegranate Ginger Paloma

Lastly, if you make this Brown Sugar Sage Ginger Paloma, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Sage Ginger Paloma

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings: 1 drink
Calories Per Serving: 227 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Sage Ginger Syrup


Salted Vanilla Sugar


  • 1. To make the sage ginger syrup, bring 1/2 cup water, honey, ginger, sage, and star anise to a boil over high heat. Once boiling simmer for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
    2. On a small plate, mix the salt and coarse sugar. Dip the rim of the glass into a thin layer of vanilla extract. Then dip the glass into the salt mix.
    3. Fill your glass with ice. Add the grapefruit juice, tequila, and lime juice. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the sage ginger syrup. Stir to combine, then top with seltzer/ginger beer. Garnish with pomegranate and fresh sage. Enjoy!
    4. To Make a Mocktail: omit the tequila and add 2 tablespoons of additional grapefruit juice and 2 tablespoons of additional seltzer/ginger beer.
View Recipe Comments

Sage Ginger Paloma Pitcher

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 227 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Sage Ginger Syrup



  • 1. In a large pitcher, add the grapefruit juice, tequila (if using), lime juice, and sage ginger syrup. Chill until ready to serve.
    2. When ready to serve, if desired, rim glasses in vanilla salt (recipe above), and fill with ice. Pour the beverage into prepared glasses. Top with seltzer.
    3. Garnish with pomegranate and sage.
    4. To Make a Mocktail: omit the tequila and use 3/4 cup of additional grapefruit juice and 3/4 cup of additional seltzer.
View Recipe Comments

Brown Sugar Sage Ginger Paloma (with mocktail) |

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    Just tried this drink. Loved it! It was easy to make and tasted fabulous! Thank you for sharing. Grapefruit is my favorite citrus fruit. The combo of sugar and salt with the vanilla was a nice touch

    1. Thank you SO much! I always love reading comments and seeing that the recipe was a success! Have a great day! 🙂 xT

  2. 5 stars
    So fantastic!!!! I will say for those with the vanilla issue I tried vanilla paste from Trader Joe’s and it was incredible! You’re my fave go to for recipes thank you!

    1. Wait I have to add I’m making this after the holidays because I craved the sugar/salt/vanilla rim…. Thank you for putting so much love into your recipes!

  3. Made this tonight with mezcal instead of silver tequila and swapped lime juice rim instead of vanilla extract. Very fun and yummmmy drink!

  4. This sounds great. Since the move is to call non-alcoholic drinks something other form N?A or mocktails, you might consider naming this one “Sage Ginger Dove”

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made this drink twice this week for parties, including the mocktail and it is SO good and well-balanced. I received many compliments! Thanks!

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Happy Saturday!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and your comment! So glad to hear it was enjoyed:)

  6. 1 star
    I love so many recipes on this site, but this is not one of them. Like others have mentioned, avoid the vanilla extract sugar rim. And the ration of alcohol to mixer is way off. The syrup is absolutely drowned out by all the grapefruit. Bummer….

    1. Hi Jose,
      So sorry to hear this recipe was not enjoyed. I appreciate you giving it a try and sharing your feedback! xx

  7. 4 stars
    A lot goin on! This drink has some amazing layers to it. I doubled the pitcher for my large gathering. I may water down the vanilla on the rim as it was a bit too heavy on the top. The salt and sugar mixed rim is delicious and the sage adds that fall earthiness. Gorgeous presentation and holiday worthy.

  8. This probably a ridiculous question, but I am a beginner in all things cocktail syrup-related. Do I discard the sage leaves and star anise once syrup has finished boiling? I’m making this ahead of time and want to store it properly.. would appreciate any guidance. Thanks!!

    1. Hey Ellen,
      Yes, you can go ahead and remove those and then keep the syrup in the fridge. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  9. 2 stars
    The ratios for this drink was seriously off and it tasted like juice. More importantly… salt, sugar, and VANILLA EXTRACT on the rim? What? You can’t convince me anyone who published this recipe took a sip of this.

    1. Hi Jess,
      So very sorry to hear that this recipe was not enjoyed. Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! xx

  10. 5 stars
    Saw this online today and I made it today, I tweaked it a bit but I stayed true to the main ingredients and it is a go for Thanksgiving, thank you !

    1. Hey Anna,
      Wonderful!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it! Happy Thanksgiving! xT

  11. 1 star
    Avoid. The work you do for the syrup is completely wasted swimming in the huge amount of grapefruit juice and ginger beer. This drink is also mostly juice, ginger beer, and syrup—about 7 parts of those to 2 parts of tequila. This is not a balanced drink.

    I’ve never seen vanilla extract on a rim, so I thought this might be some undiscovered hack. All I can say is do NOT try the rim. It’s really, really bad. (“Vanilla sugar” is usually vanilla bean particles mixed with sugar, not vanilla extract…)

    1. Hi Lucy,
      So sorry to hear that you did not enjoy this cocktail. Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with. xx

  12. 1 star
    I should have known not to rim a glass with vanilla extract. Sorry, there’s no other way to say it: that was disgusting.

    Otherwise, the drink was fine but the ratio of syrup+juice+float is way too high and drowns out all of the liquor (and I was a bit confused about the grapefruit seltzer OR ginger beer. The seltzer worked fine but I suspect using that much ginger beer would overpower every other flavor.)

  13. These sound amazing! I love all of your cocktail recipes. You do a great job with the garnishes which to me are half the fun of a great cocktail!

      1. I didn’t mind the vanilla extract rim… It’s just a tiny bit. But I’d do vanilla bean in the sugar/salt mix next time.
        I thought this was a pretty good mock tail! The recipe quantities are a little difficult to decipher… Made the syrup but missed putting it in the actual drink the first time because I was reading the list and not the instructions. Converting this to a big batch… I’m winging it, too hard to convert some in bar weights and some in tablespoons.
        But I do like the flavor combos and the sweet/savoryness!