When it comes to weather, us Irish like to think we’re pretty hardy. We just love to hate it, almost as much as we love to talk about it; and I did think we had it pretty tough, until I moved to Australia. The weather in this poor country is pure mental.
MENTAL I tell you.
When I first moved here and was house hunting, I amused quite a few real estate agents asking in-depth questions about central heating. At that stage I was such a FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) I didn’t realise the buzz phrase in Sydney is ‘reverse-cycle air conditioning’, doh! One actually guy laughed in my face. Well what can I say? I love to keep people entertained.
So, last week, when the reverse-cycle air conditioning in my office gave up the ghost, it wasn’t a good day. The system was kaput, defunct, dead. And it got hot. Oh so very hot. I started to glow, then to glisten and then to sweat profusely; all over my keyboard. As this was happening I also got progressively more stressed and stupid. Apparently my mental faculties are inversely proportional to the temperature of my immediate environment; which means if I ever move to Finland or Antarctica or someplace, I would probably be SO smart.
When I got home I needed alcohol, cold alcohol.
So I made this, and it was yum. I got the idea when browsing Heidi Swanson’s pop-up shop, QUITOKEETO. Heidi made hers with a straightforward thyme-infused syrup, but I decided to take things a step further and use lemon thyme instead of the regular variety. Lemon thyme is wonderful and I would urge everyone to get a pot, just for the beautiful smell if nothing else.
This cocktail is so very yummie. It’s lemoney and herby, aromatic and sweet, I love it; and I usually like my gin so bitter it makes my face turn inside out. So if you’re not a gin drinker, this might be the perfect introduction.
They fixed the air-conditioning, by the way; but the next day there was a hail storm, so it was a bit redundant really. See, I told you: mental.
Lemon-thyme gin sparkler
Like I mentioned, this recipe was adapted from one featured on QUITOKEETO.
For the lemon-thyme syrup:
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
several sprigs of lemon-thyme
Mix everything together in a small pot and gently bring to up to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool and infuse. Once cold, strain into a clean jar or bottle.
For the gin cocktail:
1 measure of gin
1 measure of fresh lemon juice
1 measure of tonic water
2-3 tsp lemon-thyme syrup
Mix all of the ingredients together over ice and add a sprig of lemon-thyme if you’re feeling very fancypants.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the sun.