One of Matt’s hobbies, much to my delight, is to make cocktails. He loves experimenting with new bitters and liqueurs, and I love drinking whatever fancy concoction he whips up. Over Memorial Day weekend, we visited his parents in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and their garden inspired him to brighten up one of our favorite drinks with some fresh herbs. Gin is our liquor of choice in warm weather, and a lemony, fizzy Tom Collins is our preferred method of consuming said liquor. To fancify things, Matt muddle a few sprigs of fresh (like plucked-from-the-plant-five-minutes-ago-fresh) thyme in the bottom of each glass before adding the drinks, and I garnished each with a bit of thyme flowers (I didn’t even know thyme had flowers!). Thus was born the Thyme Collins.
Recipe, per drink:
- 2.5 oz. gin
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. to 3/4 oz. simple syrup (recipe below)
- 2 to 3 sprigs thyme, vary depending on taste
- Club soda or seltzer water
- Muddle the thyme sprigs in the bottom of the glass. If you don’t have a muddler, any blunt-ended object, like the handle of an ice cream scoop, will do.
- Stir in gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
- Fill the glass with ice. It’s best to use large ice cubes for cocktails, so you only have a few pieces.
- Top with club soda and garnish with a flowering thyme sprig or lemon wedge or both!
Simple Syrup recipe: Heat 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water until sugar is disolved. It keeps in the refrigerator indefinitely. We put ours in an empty liquor bottle.