Frequently used in everything from cooking to medicines, Thyme is a delicate herb that’s an ideal addition to many cocktails. A Mediterranean native and member of the Mint family, it has a wonderfully aromatic quality that makes Thyme cocktails truly special.
And while its flavor and aroma are certainly special, the historic use of Thyme is a point of interest too. Since ancient times this herb was believed to give courage to the bearer; the ancient Greeks burned Thyme incense in their temples while medieval warriors received gifts that included thyme to inspire bravery. The ancient Egyptians even used it for embalming the pharoahs, so you’ll have a few stories to tell as you mix up a few Thyme cocktails.
What Does Thyme Taste Like?
A fairly common herb used in mainstream cooking, Thyme has a mild flavor that reminds some of mint. Popular for use in a variety of dishes including stews, light meats, seafood and vegetables, it can be used in either a fresh or dry form. But for Thyme cocktails, you’ll definitely want to stick with the fresh.
How to Pronounce Thyme
Although this herb is commonly used, quite a few people stumble when they encounter the “TH.” The correct pronunciation uses a hard “T” as opposed to a softer “TH” as in the word Thistle… Well thankfully you don’t need to depend on my dubious linguistic skills when you can listen for yourself:
Thyme Cocktails Using (Almost) Any Spirit
Offering a mild flavor profile, Thyme is can be a pleasant addition to many alcoholic and no-alcoholic drinks. That said most Thyme cocktail recipes that we’ve encountered feature clear spirits and fruit flavors to create warm weather refreshers. As a result vodka and gin are most frequently used and you’ll occasionally Pimm’s, but don’t count out the brown spirits either. Bourbon makes a tasty cocktail with Thyme too.
Spirits that we suggest avoiding? Strongly flavored Tequilas come to mind….
2 Thyme Cocktail Recipes to Get You Started
There are so many possibilities that it was tough to pick just two, but we did our best to select a couple diverse recipes that we think you’ll enjoy.
Bourbon Thyme Cocktail
A herbaceous twist on the classic Old Fashioned, this is one of the more unique recipes you’ll find. Using Bourbon and a Thyme-infused simple syrup, we found this recipe really enjoyable.
Thyme Simple Syrup
To start, adapt our instructions on infusing syrups with the following ingredients to create the sweetener for this recipe:
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 Tsp. Thyme Simple Syrup
- 1½ oz. Bourbon
- 3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 Lemon Twist for Garnish
- Combine Bourbon, Simple Syrup, Bitters and Ice in a Cocktail Shaker
- Serve in an Old Fashioned Glass
- Garnish with Twist
Thyme Salty Dog
The Salty Dog cocktail can be made with either vodka or gin, but in this version we thought that the former really makes this a tasty thyme-infused cocktail. We also think that you’ll appreciate the lightly flavored grapefruit with the woodsy herbal jolt.
This too uses a thyme-infused simple syrup, although the recipe differs slightly from the previous version.
Thyme Simple Syrup
Using our basic guide to infusing syrups whip up the syrup with these ingredients:
- ¼ C. Sugar
- ¼ C. water
- 8 Sprigs Thyme
- 2 oz. Vodka
- 3 oz. Freshly Squeezed Pink Grapefruit Juice
- ½ oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- ½ oz. Thyme Simple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Coarse Salt, For Glass Rim
- 1 Lime wedge
- Combine Vodka, Juices, Thyme Syrup and Ice in a Cocktail Shaker
- Shake Well
- Salt the Rim of a Collins Glass
- Fill the Collins Glass With Fresh Ice
- Strain Cocktail Into Glass
- Garnish with a Thyme Sprig & Lime Wheel