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Yesterday I reviewed a wonderfully brilliant cocktail book, Wild Cocktails by Lottie Muir. The concept of this book is simple: go outdoors, into your garden or the forest, pick some elements of nature, and use them at home to make components: flavored liquors, shrubs, syrups. Then, combine the components into delightful and quite complex beverages.

This is my first try out of the book and it is just incredible. It’s one of the greatest drinks I’ve ever had or made. You can use gin or rum or vodka, because the booze isn’t the motivating force here. It’s thyme. The herb thyme.

You make a simple syrup with thyme, muddle strawberries in the syrup, add the booze and lemon juice and, oh my, you get something intense. And, no, in this cocktail, the flavors do not merge at all. Instead you have a ping pong game in your mouth as the strawberry and thyme bounce back and forth. As invigorating as a trip to the gym. Almost

You will need to make the Thyme Simple Syrup and the recipe is included here. Please, follow the recipe and do NOT use too much thyme. I, uh, did use a little too much and had to dilute my potion!


Strawberry Memory Heaven

Yield: serves 1 for the cocktail, 1 cup of syrup to employ multiple times

Ingredients:

For the thyme simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs of thyme

For the cocktail:

  • 2 large strawberries or 3 medium strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 ounce thyme Syrup
  • 2 ounces white rum, vodka, or gin
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Soda water [optional to soften the beverage]

Preparation:

For the thyme simple syrup:

Stir the water and sugar together in a nonreactive pan over a low heat and let simmer for 2 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Add the thyme and submerge it with a wooden spoon. Let the thyme sprigs infuse for 10 minutes—no longer or you will lose some of the herbal freshness and it will start to take on bitterness.

While still piping hot, strain the liquid into a wide-mouthed pitcher, then funnel into a sterilized presentation bottle and seal. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For the cocktail:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries with thyme syrup. Add the liquor and lemon juice. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.

This drink has a strong punch to it. If you desire, add some soda water to achieve the potency you desire.


Source: Wild Cocktails by Lottie Muir [Cico Books, 2015]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/50th second at ISO‑800