Vodka-Thyme Lemonade

I have to admit I've been on an iced drink kick lately. Shanghai's muggy weather and our lack of AC makes it hard to muster up enthusiasm for standing in front of a hot stove. Lately I have just been whipping up quick pasta dishes, then rushing to the freezer to pull out ice cubes for a cold drink.

Lemonade is hard to beat as the de rigeur summer beverage. That is, unless we're talking about lemonade with alcohol. Basic lemonade may be necessary for an afternoon in front of the laptop, but come nightfall, I'd much rather have something like Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Vodka-Thyme Lemonade. I have never been to Perry St. in NYC where this is served, so I can't say how this recipe compares to the actual version. What I can say is that it's pretty simple if you account for the few hours for making thyme-infused syrup.

Just make sure to hide this from the kids.


Vodka-Thyme Lemonade Adapted from Perry St., New York, via Food & Wine Cocktails 2007

Makes 1 drink

1 tablespoon sugar 3 lemon wedges Ice 1/4 cup Lemon-Thyme Syrup* 1 ounce vodka Splash of club soda A few thyme sprigs

*To make Lemon-Thyme Syrup: Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cup sugar to boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add 1 handful of thyme springs, cover and let stand for 2 to 4 hours. Add 3/4 cup lemon juice and strain. Syrup can be refrigerated for up to a week.

To make lemonade: Moisten the rim of a highball glass with a lemon wedge and coat lightly with sugar. Fill the glass with ice cubes.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the remaining lemon wedges with the Lemon-Thyme Syrup. Add ice and vodka and shake. Strain into highball glass and top with club soda. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.