Warm and earthy; the smell of thyme reminds me of the sun baked landscapes of Provence or Andalusia where it grows wild, scenting the thick, heavy air of midday. Thyme goes very well with lemon and right now, juicy and aromatic examples from Italy seem to be in many of the greengrocers in and around town. With the mercury set to rise, this lemonade is a refreshing way to cool down. The sherbet is a bit of fun, inspired by a cocktail from Lia and Juliet’s Supper Club -you can leave it out if you wish to.
Any excess may be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.
1 sprig of tender thyme
100g caster sugar
1 tsp citric acid
1 unwaxed lemon cut into wedges
1 and 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2 sprigs tender thyme
1 shot (25ml) vodka
Sparkling or soda water to top up
For the sherbet:
Place the thyme and caster sugar into a pestle and mortar. Grind until the leaves are macerated and incorporated with the sugar. Add the citric acid and mix thoroughly.
To rim the glass, place the sherbet in a saucer. Run a wedge of lemon around the rim of the glass and then dip it into the sherbet, shaking off any excess.
For the drink:
Place the lemon wedges, sugar and thyme into a sturdy pint glass or into a cocktail mixer and muddle. Add the vodka, sparkling or soda water (I prefer two parts) and ice. Shake and then strain into a sherbet rimmed glass.