Many yearly rituals have been developed based on the seasons. Like many Minnesotans, I try to get as much out of the good weather as I can, only to hibernate in the winter and start all over again in the spring. One of those rituals I look forward to is herb shopping for our container garden at home. Each year we make the trek to Shady Acres Herb Farm in Chaska and buy our starter plants of herbs, peppers, and tomatoes. We then supplement from local farmers like Dehn’s Garden, Pflaum Farms, and Loon Organics to make sure we have everything we need. We made a trip to Shady Acres this past weekend and our container garden is almost complete.

Turns out I went herb shopping just in thyme (time, I mean time) to make an herby cocktail with bourbon, lemon juice, and thyme. It requires making simple syrup and while you’ll have to wash a saucepan, I swear the syrup is truly simple to make. Plus, you could double the syrup recipe and use it with sparkling water for non-alcoholic drinks all week.

Bourbon Lemon Thyme Cocktail
(makes 2)

For simple syrup:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 sprigs fresh thyme

For cocktail:
3 oz. bourbon
3-4 oz. lemonade
2 oz. honey thyme simple syrup
2 sprigs fresh thyme

For the simple syrup, bring honey and lemon juice to a boil. Add thyme sprigs, reduce heat, and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring to dissolve honey. Let cool. Remove thyme sprigs before using or refrigerating.

For the cocktails, fill a shaker with ice and add bourbon, lemonade, and honey thyme simple syrup; shake well. Pour into ice filled cocktail glasses and garnish with fresh thyme.

Optional: add sparkling water if you’re looking for a lighter cocktail.