Citrus Sage Tonic

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The citrus sage tonic is refreshing and adaptable to whatever herbs you might have around. Easily made into a cocktail with spirits too!

An overhead shot of a pink citrus sage tonic in harsh direct light.
An overhead shot of a cocktail shaker with dried sage leaves and agave nectar inside.
An overhead shot of the "Kale & Caramel" book

If you follow a number of food blogs, I’m sure you will hear a chorus of this sentiment in the coming weeks: Lily Diamond of Kale & Caramel (the blog and now book!) radiates passion for what she does because she lives it. That sense of joy that understands harder times, the complexity and depth, and also the truth in her writing—it all translates in real life.

I spent a weekend with her at a retreat in Cambria, California. She picked me up at the airport with a giant hug, the most delicious kombucha, and a batch of Lindsay’s black lentil hummus in tow. There’s a calm clarity and true generosity to her spirit. Kind of like this citrus and sage tonic ;)

Her creative expression, both online and elsewhere, can easily encourage others to unabashedly be themselves. Lily’s work always stands out to me. There’s this natural interplay of savoury and sweet, wholesome and sensory-indulgent, bold and understated. She makes it seem effortless, and that’s why it’s so high-impact and inspiring for me.

Kale & Caramel, which was just released this week, is a book I can live with and work from in a spontaneous, fun, and inspired way. I receive a ton of cookbooks, but I also like to move freely and do my own thing. “Self-care” is a term that’s bandied about by health and lifestyle-focused websites, but Lily’s approach is one of practical, living and breathing self-nourishment.

Among the 12 segments devoted to particular herbs and flowers, there’s a recipe for a simple grapefruit, cucumber and rose skin quencher that takes 3 minutes to prepare, but its goodness will give you some extra buoyancy for the rest of the day. Turn the pages back and there’s an oatmeal and oregano mask that will get you excited because you have everything to make it right now. Beyond that, there’s a strawberry and basil cream pie, jasmine shortbread, fresh corn polenta, chopped salad with mint tahini dressing, and so much more.

I’m sharing this citrus sage tonic from the sage chapter because Lily’s slightly herbal riff on a paloma felt just right. Here, I have it without the alcohol, but in the book, mezcal and tequila are recommended and I’d have to agree that they would be SO perfect (along with a family-sized serving of guacamole please). Happy sipping to all my tonic-lovers out there.

An overhead shot of cut open citrus fruits in direct sunlight.
An overhead shot of prep for citrus sage tonics in bright direct light.
An overhead shot of dried sage leaves in a small white bowl.
A 3/4 angle shot of a pink citrus sage tonic in harsh direct light.

Citrus Sage Tonic

The citrus sage tonic is refreshing and adaptable to whatever herbs you might have around. Easily made into a cocktail with spirits too!
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Citrus and Sage Tonic from "Kale & Caramel"
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings 1


  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar (depending on the sweetness of the grapefruits)
  • 2 large grapefruits, juiced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ice cubes, for serving


  • Muddler


  • Copyright © 2017 by Lily Diamond from KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
  • I think a lot of herbs could work themselves in here nicely–like rosemary, basil, cilantro, or thyme.
  • Lily recommends tequila, mezcal, gin or vodka if you’re looking to make this into a cocktail.
  • Also, if you’re wondering why my sage looks so gnarly, I used naturally dried leaves from my plants last year :)


  • Use a muddler or wooden spoon to crush the sage into the agave nectar at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the grapefruit, lime, and lemon juices and a few pinches of salt. Shake vigorously, then strain the citrus sage tonic over ice.
03/05/2017 (Last Updated: 03/05/2017)
Posted in: autumn, beverage, gluten free, grain-free, nut free, oil free, raw, sour, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter
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