Use thyme from your herb garden, or buy it fresh from the market for best flavor in this summery cooler. /Courtesy photo.

Use thyme from your herb garden, or buy it fresh from the market for best flavor in this summery cooler. /Courtesy photo

The path to this refreshing cooler starts with a trip through the herb garden, and ends in a Tom Collins glass. It can easily be made without the vodka; it’s sensational either way.

Chef/owner Laurent Godbout of Chez L’Epicier in Palm Beach shared this easy recipe with Florida Food & Farm readers.

Vodka thyme lemonade
Granulated sugar, for rimming glass
3 lemon wedges
2 oz. thyme syrup (recipe follows)
2 oz. Tito’s Vodka
Club soda
Thyme sprig, for garnish

In a Collins glass, rim the glass with the granulated sugar. Muddle 2 of the lemon wedges. Add thyme syrup, Tito’s vodka and ice. Top with soda and lemon wedge. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

Thyme syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Handful of thyme leaves

Make simple syrup: Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Remove from heat and add the thyme. Allow the thyme to steep at least 4 hours at room temperature; strain before using.
Makes approximately 2/3 cup. Keep in sealed container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tip: Try the thyme syrup in a real Tom Collins, too — thyme marries great with gin. And for leftover herbs – freeze ice cubes with leftover herbs, coarsely chopped, to use in your next round of drinks.

Cheers!