rosemary paloma cocktails with grapefruit sea salt rims | a cookbook + rosé winner

cocktails, drinks, fruits, tequila, winter

the blog

The past few weeks have been a series of highs and lows. I must be in dire need of a lesson in “going with the flow” because that’s precisely what I haven’t been doing! I’ll start with the most exciting of news: Steve and I are getting married! Our conversation kind of went like this: “I’m asking you to marry me because you’re my favorite!” “And I’m saying yes because you’re MY favorite!” I think that being together ten years let’s me know I’m ready for that step. I knew he had something in the works for a while, but I really did not expect it to happen last week over our quick getaway to Arizona.

We’d both been extra busy the few days leading up to our departure, so I truly didn’t see it coming. As I was sitting on the plane, I saw a text from one of my dear friends. It was simply five ring emojis, followed by the monkey emoji with its eyes covered. I laughed so hard and told her that I doubted it would happen. The only things both Steve and I wanted to do was forget about the mess we left in our house, sleep all day, maybe sit by a pool, and not see anyone we knew for a solid three days.

Some of those wishes came true, but sleep wasn’t one of them. Leading up to the trip, we had both shared a few, consecutive, ten-hour shifts at the restaurant, leaving our minds harried and our eyes laden with dark circles. I had been recipe-testing blender cocktails all week for an upcoming series at the Kitchn, and the sound of the Vitamix motor was ringing in my ear. Needless to say, I left the kitchen in a state of stickiness, along with a stack of cocktail-covered glassware.

We hit the airport last Sunday without getting any sleep the night before. What an excellent way to start a proposal weekend, right!??

rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora

I promise to share more details of that weekend, along with some photos from the trip on an upcoming post because Arizona was absolutely breathtaking and so insanely eye-catching. I couldn’t believe the beauty of the desert. So, as you can expect, I have been in a “high” of sorts because I am going to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams, who loves me beyond measure. I can only try my best to love him with the depth of love he gives to me.

Over the past few days, I have been meditating on a phrase I came across on Instagram maybe a year ago: “Interrupt anxiety with gratitude.” And I have really been trying to put those words into practice. Despite the present elation and joy in my heart, I’ve also been dealing with some stressful job issues, insomnia, depression, and serious lack of motivation. I also lost a dear friend, whom I’ve known for almost 20 years, to suicide just a few days ago. I have been dealing with both extreme sadness and incredible joy. I sometimes even feel guilty experiencing those two contrasting emotions at the same time.

I know that is not what my friend would’ve wanted. I’m trying to celebrate the love he shared with me and so many others and be happy for the love that’s in my life. On the day I took these photos, I bought some flowers to remind me of him and also to celebrate the new chapter in my life with Steve. Interrupting anxiety with gratitude is challenging, but doing so changes the direction of your thoughts and places your intention in a positive light.

I’m trying.

rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora

So, I do have some other exciting news to share with you! I know I said I’d let you know this past Friday, but since things have been a tad crazy, I allowed myself a little cushion. 😉

I always love giving treats away, and I have a winner from last week’s giveaway. I wrote down the names of all of you, who commented on my last post, sharing either your time-saving tips in the kitchen or your favorite bottle of rosé. I poured me and Steve each a glass of bubbly and had him randomly choose a name from the very hat he wore at our proposal {I know, mega mush}, and I’m happy to say that Edith Schmidt is the winner of Emilie Raffa of the Clever Carrot‘s new book, The Clever Cookbook! I’ll be contacting you shortly, Edith, so that I can send you your cookbook and some delicious rosé, just in time for spring!

I just might do a Rafflecopter drawing for the next giveaway, but this DIY version worked! And thank you ALL for sharing your informative tips and time-saving advice! I appreciate your support. I especially loved And if you didn’t catch the post, be sure to read it for a closeup of Emilie’s cookbook, along with her recipe for Spice-Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad. I paired it with one of my favorite rosés and ate the entire salad in one sitting. It was that good.

rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora

And now for one of my favorite cocktails, complete with a wintry twist on the original, the Paloma. This cocktail always reminds me of home, whenever I make it. I remember eating so many Florida grapefruits, growing up. We even had special, sterling silver citrus spoons to eat them with! They were spoon-shaped with a serrated point that would pierce the grapefruits’ flesh, so they were easy to eat. I need to find out where those went!

rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims

  • 1 1/2 ounces aged tequila {I used Corralejo Reposado}
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce rosemary simple syrup {see recipe notes}
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • splash soda water
  • grapefruit zested sea salt rim, for garnish {see recipe below}
  • sprigs of rosemary, for garnish
  1. Rim your cocktail glass with a lime wedge and dredge your glass in the grapefruit salt. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing tin, combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, rosemary simple syrup, and lime juice.
  3. Add ice and shake vigorously until frothy.
  4. Carefully fill your cocktail glass with fresh ice and strain the cocktail into it.
  5. Add a splash of soda water for some effervescence.
  6. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary for complementary aromatics.
  • To make the rosemary simple syrup, combine equal parts cane sugar and water in a small saucepan. Toss in the rosemary and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a slow simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow the rosemary to steep for another ten minutes. Strain the solids and let cool before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora

I took notes from my friend, Maggie Batista, author of Food Gift Love, and used her tips from her lemon sea salt recipe for my rosemary salt version. It is perfect with this Paloma! You’ll definitely have extra, since this Paloma cocktail doesn’t call for that much salt, but you can gift some to a friend or use the grapefruit zested sea salt tossed in a salad dressing, stirred into a marinade, sprinkled over shortbread cookies, or served over roasted spring vegetables.

Or just make more Palomas!

grapefruit zested sea salt

  • 1 large, organic grapefruit
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1 cup fine sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or the lowest possible setting.
  2. Wash and dry your fruits.
  3. Using a Microplane zester, carefully zest the grapefruit and the lemon, avoiding the white, bitter pith, if possible. This will yield about 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons.
  4. Sprinkle the zest onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a fork to distribute the zest.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, peeking in a few times to make sure the zest is not browning. You’re slowly drying and releasing the fragrant oils of the zest. The zest will be crispy and “dry to the touch” when ready.
  6. Combine the zest and the fine sea salt in a bowl and stir until incorporated. Maggie mentions that her zested salt remains fresh for up to 6 months when stored in an airtight container.
  • This grapefruit zested sea salt is not only great for rimming cocktails, but it is fabulous on salads, in marinades, on fresh fish, or over anything that would benefit from a zesty, citrus-y pop. I could so see this dusted over shortbread cookies. Yes, please.

rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora rosemary palomas with grapefruit salt rims | holly & flora

Cheers to a beautiful week ahead. I’ll be doing my darnedest to practice interrupting my anxiety or worries with GRATITUDE. There is so much to be thankful for, despite the challenging or negative instances. I’m really focusing on saying “no” to things that no longer serve me or that bring me down. I’m letting go of obligations I’m “told to like.” It is always a good idea to check in and ask yourself WHY you do what you do.

I’m curious. How do you personally overcome those moments of overwhelm or anxiety? How have you sifted through your commitments or relationships and let go of the negative ones? I surely wish I could shake it all off as well as my cat, Ash, does. She makes life seem so easy and carefree. Cats {smh}.

Extra big hugs and a heart filled with love this week! In the meantime, I’ll be thinking up a hashtag for the two of us, since I’m cheesy like that. 😉 I’ll close with a link to all of the tips and rosé suggestions I received from this recent giveaway. They were all so great! Thanks to my friends, family, and followers for contributing so many helpful tips, hints, and recommendations!



  1. The Oracle says:

    BEAUTIFUL Cocktails

  2. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:

  3. trismoore says:

    Those look good and I love the picture of Ash in the Amazon box, lovely, lol.

    As for getting rid of the anxiety and overwhelming, I just have to sit down and write down a list. I write down everything I need to do and then I prioritize as to what’s the most important to get done first and go down from there.

    The unhealthy relationships though…that I’m still learning. 🙂

    • That is exactly what I attempt – writing down everything I need to do. I still have difficulty prioritizing, so that I accomplish the more important things first. A work in progress, for sure. I’m thinking of putting up Post-It notes on my mirror, so that I start the day with my to-dos in my face.

      The unhealthy relationships are tricky for me, too. Sometimes, it is so difficult to differentiate {early-on} the ones who end up taking so much from you. I know it is important to set boundaries in relationships, but it is a careful balance between allowing a little “give” with those boundaries and having someone walk all over you.

      Much love and good luck!! PS – Ash says THANKS. 😉

  4. kirranb says:

    Great photos! And congratulations 🙂 how exciting! I really like your quote…I just went back to school this year and anxiety is overwhelming my life right now so I will give this “interrupting anxiety” business a try for sure, lol. Rock on!

    • Thank you SO MUCH! It still hasn’t really hit us yet, but we are super excited. I wish you good luck this upcoming year. If you’re like me, sometimes I just want to run and escape all of the deadlines and commitments I’ve set myself up for. 😉

  5. paige says:

    We have recently moved to the Panhandle of Florida–I employ my silver grapefruit spoons daily! (Let me know if you need help find some.) Can’t wait to try the cocktails and Emilie’s salad!

    • paige says:

      . . . need help *finding* some . . .

    • AHHHHH! You know about those spoons! :-))))) Congrats on your recent move! How are you liking FL? My sister lives up near Fort Walton Beach and loves it in the Panhandle. We are both from Lakeland and visit about once a year. Let me know if you end up making a Paloma! They are the best springtime drinks. XO!

      I’ll let you know if I find some of those spoons, too. 😉

  6. All of these cocktails look amazing! So glad I’ve discovered your blog!

    • Back at you!! My lips are so in need of that scrub you recently posted. It is on my to-make list. Spring might be near, but it is super dry right now. Happy you like the cocktails! XO!

  7. stevesteese says:

    Thanks for the sweet words Jayme! I’m so excited for this new adventure!! 💍❤️🎉

  8. These palomas look gorgeous. And I love that quote!!! Something I will have to remind myself of from now on too. I’m a school counselor by day, so I want to put that quote up in my office 🙂 When I have moments of overwhelm/anxiety, usually spending time alone, in a quiet space, seems to help me reset and form my plan of moving forward. (how introverted do I sound??!)

    I am so sorry to hear of your recent loss but am excited for your new adventure. Congrats to you – Lots of love ahead!

    • Isn’t that quote the best? I had so many opportunities to put it into practice last night at work. It was a crazy one, for sure. I didn’t know you were a school counselor by day! I taught K through 2nd for a while, and I wound up in the writing and somm worlds. I totally understand the need for a quiet getaway, when kids are around.

      I’m laughing at your “how introverted do I sound” comment! I am SO that person at times, too. 😉 Thank you for your support and love and kind words. In the fashion of my dear friend, I’m on the up-and-up. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Big love your way, too, Tessa. 🙂

  9. Just found this site from Steller and I’m in love. Beautiful!

  10. I found your site from Steller and I’m in love. Beautiful!

  11. anne says:

    Oh how wonderful!! I’m so excited for you and Steve and this next chapter of your lives. What a fabulous thing to have found the man of your dreams and to be able to spend the rest of your life with him. I love love. 🙂

    And I have to say that I am swooning over those photos with the ranunculus. Gorgeous. I grew them the summer before last but never found any local bulbs last year. I’m determined to grow some this summer.

    I was thinking about grapefruit spoons just the other day. We were eating grapefruit and I was lamenting the fact that we’d gotten rid of our mismatched collection of random silverware. It’s not really a bad thing because we use a set inherited from my grandparents that they’d gotten as a gift for one of their big wedding anniversaries. There aren’t any grapefruit spoons in their set, though and in our mix of randomness we actually had some.

    I am so sorry about losing your friend. Life is such a mix.

    I love the thought of shifting from anxiety to gratitude. It’s always a struggle, though. Letting go of worry and frustration and embracing beauty and joy. You need to be truly present in order to do that. I try to stop myself when I’m in the middle of any sort of negative thinking and regain that sense of being present. Focusing on your senses and breathing helps.

  12. […] – I need me some of these pretty drinks to relax and unwind my way to […]


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