Up Your Cocktail Game With This Vodka Lemonade

A batch of homemade lemonade in summertime is as good as it gets—so why not turn it into a cocktail? For a special twist, we’re swapping out the sugar for a homemade simple syrup, which we infuse with thyme for earthy complexity. You can make the syrup in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to one month—and since you only need two ounces per cocktail, you’ll have extra, meaning you can enjoy this drink whenever you’re craving it (or can easily batch the recipe for cocktail hour with friends). We use vodka here, but if you prefer, feel free to swap in an herbal gin—it’d be a lovely complement to the thyme.

Vodka-Thyme Lemonade

(Serves 1)

2 ounces vodka
2 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 ounces thyme simple syrup (recipe below)
Club soda
Fresh thyme sprig, for garnish

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, lemon juice, and thyme simple syrup. Shake vigorously until well-chilled and thoroughly combined.

2. Strain over a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Top with club soda as desired and gently stir to combine. Garnish with fresh thyme. Enjoy!

Thyme Simple Syrup

(Makes 12 ounces)

⅛ ounce fresh thyme
1 large piece cheesecloth and kitchen twine
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

1. Place thyme on a large piece of cheesecloth. Bring edges of cheesecloth together and tie with kitchen twine to form a sealed pouch.

2. In a medium pot, stir together sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-high. Add pouch with thyme; simmer, whisking occasionally until sugar is dissolved and flavors have melded 2-3 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

3. Let thyme simple syrup cool, 10-15 minutes, then remove and discard pouch with thyme. Transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator until ready to use, up to 1 month.

Recipe contributed by Plated Senior Recipe Editor Sara Heegaard.

This article is intended for individuals 21-years-old and over. Please drink responsibly.

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