the alpine margarita | settling into mountain life

cocktails, herbs, recipes, summer, tequila

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I owe you all and myself a proper catch-up post here. That’ll have to wait, but I’ll give you a little peek into what’s been going on. So much has changed over the past three months, since we’ve transitioned from city life to farmer life. Out of all the questions I’m asked, I hear this one most frequently, “What is the biggest thing you didn’t expect when you moved to the country and began growing grapes?” Sure, the exhaustive work is challenging, the learning curve to become a successful grape-grower is a constant struggle, but the real challenge is weed control.

We are shifting the vineyard’s practices and employing organic and sustainable methods, so applying commercial herbicides or pesticides is not in our playbook. We’ve been doing a lot of hand-pulling and weed-eating, instead. There are weeding attachments for tractors, but we’ve been trying to save money on extra expenses. Instead, we’ve been doing the work ourselves. I have the callouses to prove it.

We are in the dead heat of summer, as many of you are, and seeking a cool respite from the sun’s pounding rays is always on our minds. Weeding in the stark sunlight is brutal. So, of course it was the perfect time for our swamp cooler to call it quits last week. It sputters out water and particulates and barely chills the air down to 80 degrees. I’m seriously considering crashing a local hotel pool or even trying to sneak into one of the fancy mountain pools sometime this weekend.

I’m desperate.

There is something so magical when you pair margaritas with a hot day. It’s like the two were meant for each other. Our vineyard is located just over a mile above sea level and gets more sunshine annually than Florida, the so-called “Sunshine State.” In fact, the mesa we’re farming on is aptly named, “Sunshine Mesa.” To beat the heat we’ve been experiencing, we’ve been making tequila-based cocktails on repeat over the last few weeks. This simple riff on the classic margarita takes a nod from the alpine area I live in and mixes it perfectly with freshly squeezed lime and orange liqueur.

I’ve partnered with Patrón to bring you the Alpine Margarita. It’s herbal and citrusy and reminiscent of trips to the mountains. Back in July, Patrón’s mobile cocktail lab passed through Aspen, Colorado, one of its many stops across the country for its Patrón the Summer Tour, and hosted a pop-up cocktail party, featuring this very cocktail. Their cocktail lab is making its way across the country, so be sure to check out their next stop, so you can experience one of their signature margaritas. And if you can’t make it to the event, you can always craft your own.

I have stressed it multiple times: always use freshly squeezed citrus in your cocktails. You simply won’t yield the results you’re desiring or reading about, if you’re using store-bought, prepackaged, pasteurized juice. Garnishes also play an integral role in a cocktail. Seek out fresh, in-season herbs, fruits, and citrus. Even though you might not actually be eating a garnish, you’ll want to use the freshest, most aromatic expression available.

I sneaked into my old backyard garden in Denver to grab some sage for this cocktail. We don’t actually close on the property until this upcoming Tuesday, so I figured it was okay to stop by and grab a few sprigs of sage. I’ll be back for more in a few days. Not having a backyard garden yet out here at our new place is killing me. You get so spoiled being able to just lazily walk outside and clip whatever you need for a cocktail or for dinner.

So, maybe you’ll find me up in the mountains, crashing a swank hotel pool this weekend. I just might bring these ingredients to mix something up poolside, as well. It’s happened before. The next time you feel like making a classic margarita, try giving it an alpine twist. With a spritz of an alpine eau de vie and a smack of freshly picked sage, you’ve got yourself a taste of brisk mountain air. As always, the perfect way to enjoy Patrón is responsibly.

the alpine margarita

  • 1 1/2 ounces Patrón Silver
  • 1 ounce Patrón Citrónge Orange
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeeze lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup, to taste
  • spritz “alpine essence” {see recipe notes}
  • lime wedge and sage leaves, for garnish
  • kosher salt rim {optional}
  1. Prep a rocks glass with a salted rim by running a wedge of lime along the rim and dipping into a plate of salt. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing tin, combine the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  3. Add ice to the mixing tin and shake vigorously.
  4. Strain on to fresh ice in the prepped rocks glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge and sage leaf.
  6. Spritz “alpine essence” over the surface of the glass.

Thank God it’s almost the weekend! I’ll be finishing up some more weeding {surprise}, clipping back some Chardonnay shoots, and thinning out some excess fruit. We have between two and four weeks for our grapes to begin their final ripening or veraison. It’s crunch time until late September. I’m almost ready for it. One thing that I am ready for is a serious break come November. It’ll be hibernation and a steady flow of red wine and Netflix for me.

Thank you for supporting the partnerships here on holly & flora that allow me to keep bringing all the delicious cocktails your way. While Patrón did sponsor this post, all opinions are my own.

I’ll have a vineyard post for you soon, complete with bull snake tales, tractor conundrums, farmhouse renovation, roommate life, and winery progress. For a few behind-the-scene snippets, be sure to follow the Storm Cellar over on Instagram.













  1. Joan Steese says:

    Hi Jayme! I am SO sorry you have no AC right now! I am also sorry about the weeds. I wish I was there to help you and Steve, and give you hugs! The Alpine Margarita sounds great! I love lime juice in anything. Mom Steese

    • We both love you so much!! We feel your spirit here and dream about your hugs and cookies! 😉 We have tried getting the air fixed three times, to no avail. It’s tough when you’ve been working all day in the sun. We are going to hit up the local North Fork Pool sometime soon.

      Heading out to our favorite farm right now! Sending you lots of LOVE!! 😘

  2. Laura says:

    I love misting cocktails! Your images are beautiful. xo

    • I’m just getting into misting cocktails. I usually go for either a rinse or a dash of bitters, but rinsing is definitely fun and aromatic. Anything you’ve been particularly enjoying misting into your cocktails? Thank you so much for the compliment!

  3. erinhooker says:

    Your pictures are incredible! The garnish definitely give the drink an alpine touch. I grew up in Colorado and LOVE margs so I’ll definitely try this soon. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin, thank you so much!! Where did you grow up in CO? I grew up in Florida, and I haven’t looked back much, unless it was for a visit! I hope you got to try this particular recipe. I just ordered another bottle of the Clear Creek eau de vie. Such a great cocktail addition. And so sorry I haven’t responded earlier! I’m finally catching up on “life” and caught a break from work on the vineyard. Thank you for stopping by!

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