It’s pretty hard to improve on a gin and tonic, in my opinion.
On a hot summer day, it’s hard to beat!
But even as a serious gin and tonic lover, I’m sometimes in the mood for a change and my Thyme to Kill cocktail
is equally delicious.
Thyme is not an herb that’s used a lot for cocktails but it pairs really nicely with the herbal tones in gin.
You can’t really just stick a sprig of thyme in a glass and expect to get much flavor out of it, though. To really bring out some good thyme flavors, I like to make a quick simple syrup loaded with it.
If you’ve never made simple syrup before, have no fear. It’s really easy and you only need three ingredients: sugar, water, and thyme. Combine all these in a pot and bring it to a simmer.
After the mixture simmers for a few minutes, the sugar should be dissolved. Kill the heat and let it cool slowly to room temperature. This will give the syrup plenty of time to absorb the thyme flavor.
Once it’s relatively cool, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for about two weeks without a problem. I like to store mine in a little canning jar for easy access!
If you want to get super-fancy, you can also make some quick candied thyme sprigs to garnish the drink with. I’m not sure I would bother with this step unless you are trying to show off!
If you want to, just get some nice fresh thyme sprigs and dip them in the thyme simple syrup. Then toss them with some sugar and let them dry for a few minutes.
I tried a few different methods of candying the thyme sprigs and that is the method that worked the best and was easiest. The top row of sprigs on the below plate used a complicated method involving egg whites. I wasn’t very happy with how they turned out and it was a lot of work – just go with the simple syrup method.
When you’re ready to make a drink, combine all the ingredients in a large shaker glass with lots of ice and shake it like crazy for about ten seconds.
I personally like to mix in a small dash of elderflower liquor in my cocktail (St. Germain’s is a popular brand), but it’s optional.
Once your drink is nice and chilled, pour it into a tall glass and top it off with some tonic water.
Garnish with limes and some of those candied thyme sprigs and you are in business.
If you are looking for a fun and different cocktail to kill the heat, try this drink out!
More Summer CocktailsNick had maybe more than one of these. He is a very thorough cocktail tester. Be sure to check out his blog, Macheesmo, his book, Cornerstone Cooking, and check out his Tablespoon profile.