Spring tends to be a little late here in the Midwest, so instead of waiting for all the spring blooms, I added them to my cocktails instead! Suspended in ice, the flower buds and petals add a nice pop of color in this bright and citrusy cocktail I mixed up. I started out with a small batch of homemade lemon and thyme infused vodka, added a bit of simple syrup for sweetness, and topped it off with ginger beer for a crisp finish. This is a great make-ahead cocktail for parties so I’ve included the recipe for a large batch too!
Lemon & Thyme Infused Vodka:
16oz of your favorite vodka
2 lemon slices
8 to 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
Combine vodka, lemon slices, and thyme in a pint sized canning jar. Seal, shake, and store in a cool dry place for 2 to 3 days. Remove lemon slices and allow thyme to infuse for 2 more days. Remove the sprigs, strain through a mesh sieve to remove any pulp, and store vodka in the freezer until ready to use. To infuse an entire bottle, pour the bottle into a glass pitcher or 32oz canning jar. Add 4 lemon slices and 20 sprigs of fresh thyme. Allow the lemon to infuse for 3 days, remove slices, and let thyme continue to infuse for 2 more days. Strain through a sieve and discard thyme. You can keep in the canning jar or pour back into an empty vodka bottle and store in the freezer until ready to use.
For 2 cocktails:
4oz of lemon thyme vodka
1oz simple syrup
4oz ginger beer or ginger ale
Lemon slices for garnish
Add chilled vodka and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds to mix. Pour into two ice filled glasses, top with ginger beer, garnish, and serve.
For a large pitcher (serves 12):
1 (750ml) bottle of lemon thyme vodka (see above for infusion)
6oz simple syrup
24oz ginger beer or ginger ale
Combine vodka and simple syrup in a large pitcher and stir for 10 to 15 seconds to mix. Pour into ice filled glasses, top with ginger beer, garnish, and serve.