Vodka-Thyme Lemonade

I hope everyone enjoyed a beautiful Fourth of July weekend!  It was certainly hot here in New York City.  Like fry-an-egg-on-the-pavement hot.  Also known as 'sleep-without-sheets hot' and 'go-to-the-movies hot'.  Even my normally frigid office was steamy!  I was disappointed to be away from the beach this weekend and working on loan documents instead, but Peter and I made great use of our time in the City.  Yesterday we rounded out our baby tasks by buying our crib and crib bedding.  I just handed in my maternity leave paperwork.  I'm preregistering at the hospital on Thursday and packing my hospital bag this week.  It's all really happening!  And it's a good thing we're almost ready: last night I read the baby a story about his Dad - Peter Rabbit - and he seems to have new resolve to escape the womb.  Tonight, I'm going to read him flight instructions: "please keep your hands and feet inside at all times."  It's becoming rather unsettling to see his little fists and feet poke out from my belly.

And so now that I've regaled you with our baby updates, it seems fitting to propose a cocktail recipe, no?  Ok, ok, so it's not something I can enjoy at the moment.  But you can easily whip up a virgin version while you serve these beautiful cocktails to your guests.  Now that it's so hot, it's all about outdoor cocktails on summer weekends.  July Fourth may have just passed, but next weekend is already around the corner!

Vodka-Thyme Lemonade
Inspired by Jean-Georges Vodka-Thyme Lemonade

Lemon-lime vodka
This couldn't be easier.  Just wash 4-6 lemons and limes and put them in a container with some high-quality vodka.  Seal tightly and let the citrus infuse into the vodka for a few days or a week.  Even if you made the infusion the day before serving, you'd taste the difference.

Lemon-Thyme Syrup
1.5 C water
1 C plus 2 T. sugar
3/4 oz. thyme sprigs
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the thyme, cover and let stand for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add the lemon juice and strain the syrup.  The Lemon-Thyme Syrup can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

And now, for the cocktail!

  1. Spread sugar in a shallow dish. Moisten the rim of a highball glass with a lemon wedge and dip the rim in the sugar to coat. Fill the glass with ice.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 lemon wedges with 1.5 oz Lemon-Thyme Syrup. Add ice and 2 oz of infused vodka and shake well.  Strain the vodka mixture into a highball glass and top with club soda. Garnish with thyme sprig and serve.

Happy cocktailing!