Red Zeppelin: An Onion Cocktail - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Red Zeppelin: An Onion Cocktail

Bartender Abigail Smith of Big Bar in Los Angeles doesn’t recall what possessed her to create a cocktail with red onion. “I suppose I’m just always looking to outdo my own weird,” she says. “So I tried making red onion syrup, and it turned out really well.” When she cooked and salted the onions, she discovered that they lost their polarizing bite. The syrup put a complex and savory spin on this Margarita-inspired cocktail.


  • 1 1/2 oz. reposado tequila
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple rum (do not use sweetened rum)
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 3/4 oz. salted red onion syrup
  • Tools:shaker, strainer
  • Glass:goblet
  • Garnish:red onion skins clipped to rim


Combine all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake until chilled, then strain over ice into a goblet. Garnish.

Salted Red Onion SyrupPlace 2 cups of water and 1 cup of chopped red onions into a pot and add 1 tsp. kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. The onions will give their color to the broth. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit and cool for another hour to pull the rest of the color out of the onion. Strain the whole onion pieces out of the broth and add 1 3/4 cups white cane sugar (should be equal parts to the amount of broth). Stir until dissolved. The syrup will keep for 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

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