My garden and I did not start the month of August off on the right foot. While I was being bombarded left and right by dishes and posts featuring beautiful tomatoes, the plants in my garden taunted me with green orbs of various shapes and sizes that refused to ripen. I obsessively checked them twice a day. I even had a dream that, amidst a bit of chaos involving Doctor Who (David Tennant, not Matt Smith), the air traffic controller from season 2 of Breaking Bad, and a woman who insisted she must go to Paris for “jewelery season,” I uncovered a vine of perfectly ripe tomatoes at the edge of my much-nicer-than-it-is-in-waking-life backyard.
While my tomato plants refused to cooperate, my garden did manage to redeem itself with a bounty of herbs, including an overabundance of thyme. I don’t know why, but the smell of thyme makes me thirsty. I love adding it to drinks and it works well with a number of things (lemon, blackberries, pears, etc.), but thyme + grapefruit = THE BEST. I was introduced to this combination nearly a year ago at my favorite Burlington restaurant, and I have been obsessed ever since.
Oh and BONUS: This soda practically begs for gin. Put ’em together and, boy, do they go down easy.
Grapefruit & Thyme Soda
- zest and juice of 2 pink grapefruits
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 10–12 springs of thyme
- pinch of salt
Combine water, salt, zest, juices, and thyme in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.
Run mixture through a cheesecloth to filter out the solids. Return the filtered liquid to the pan, add sugar, and heat until sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool, then transfer to a container. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To make soda: Combine 1 part syrup with 1.5 parts seltzer.
To make a grapefruit-thyme gin fizz: Add 1 part gin and 1.5 parts syrup to a glass filled with ice. Top with seltzer then stir to combine.