For cocktail base: In a medium saucepan, bring the water to boiling. Add sage; simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat; remove and discard sage. Stir in maple syrup. Set aside to cool. When cool, stir in lemon juice.Advertisement
To prepare cocktails: Add 1/4 cup cocktail base and 1/4 cup gin to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until very cold. Strain and pour into a glass. Twist lemon peel over cocktail to extract essential oil, then drop into drink. (Or, to serve as a pitcher drink: Combine all of the cocktail base and gin in a pitcher. Chill, covered, until serving time. Serve over ice, if desired, garnished with lemon twists as described above.
Available in winter and early spring, Meyer lemons are a hybrid of oranges and lemons. You can substitute 3/4 cup orange juice and 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice.