The thyme is taking over the herb garden.
There comes the point in every summer where my thyme plants reach critical mass.
They become a conquering force encroaching on bordering nations, creeping out of their window boxes and reaching out their fragrant tendrils into the unsuspecting lemon balm.
(Sometimes I think they are trying to hold hands.)
If you have well-established thyme in your garden, then you know what I’m talking about.
To save the neighboring plants, I have to go in and do a mass cutting. But there’s only so much thyme you can dry and save.
What do you do with all of that thyme on your hands?
Make thyme-infused syrup!
Stop looking at me like that; it’s delicious. Some of the best sweet dishes are enhanced with the addition of just a touch of savory.
Trust me; you’re going to thank me after you eat your first strawberry thyme popsicle.
Creating an infused herbal syrup is one of my favorite ways to use up a lot of herbage at once. Mixing those wonderful savory flavors with a sweet, simple syrup base opens up a world of new flavors and food pairings.
Let’s cook up a batch of thyme syrup and take your desserts and cocktails to the next level.
- 2 cups of lightly packed thyme
- If you have more than one variety, go ahead and mix it up!
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
Wash and gently pat your thyme dry. (I know you’re just dumping it back into the water, but this makes stripping the leaves easier.) If your thyme is still young and the stems are green you don’t need to strip the leaves.
However, if you have a well-established patch of thyme and your stems are a bit on the woody side you’ll want to strip the leaves to avoid getting an off-flavor in your syrup.
This is easy to do, pinch the very top of the stem with one hand and then gently grasp the stem with two fingers of the other hand. Using a gentle pincher movement slide your fingers down the stem in the opposite direction of the leaf growth. This will remove the leaves and any fresh green stems.
Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat over medium. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, and the syrup comes to a gentle boil.
Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner. Add your thyme and gently stir the leaves into the syrup. Now cover with a lid and let the thyme leaves steep in the syrup for 20 minutes.
Doesn’t it smell amazing?
Pour your syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a flip-top bottle.
A minor note: I used to store my syrups in jelly jars, but recently switched to using the Grolsch or flip-top style bottles. They are much easier to pour from this way.
Keep your thyme-infused syrup in the fridge, and it should last you around a month.
- - 2 cups of thyme leaves
- - 1 cup of sugar
- - 1 cup of water
1. Wash and gently pat your thyme dry.
2. If you have woody stalks, strip the leaves and discard the stalks. If your thyme is young and the stalks are green and soft, you don't need to strip the leaves.
3. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat over medium. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, and the syrup comes to a gentle boil.
4. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner. Add your thyme and gently stir the leaves into the syrup. Now cover with a lid and let the thyme leaves steep in the syrup for 20 minutes.
5. Pour your syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a jar with a tight-fitting lid or a flip-top bottle.
6. Keep your thyme-infused syrup in the fridge, and it should last you around a month.
I used to store my syrups in jelly jars, but recently switched to using the Grolsch or flip-top style bottles. They are much easier to pour from this way.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Now, what do you do with this little bottle of deliciousness? Put it on everything!
Let’s start with a cocktail…
Raspberry Thyme Smash
- 2 oz. vodka or gin
- 2 oz. raspberry shrub (here’s how to make shrub at home)
- 1 oz of thyme-infused syrup
- 1 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Club soda
- Pick of raspberries or lemon twist
In a cocktail shaker with ice add the vodka or gin, raspberry shrub, thyme syrup, and lemon juice. Shake well and pour over fresh ice in a highball glass, top up with club soda and serve with a pick of raspberries or lemon twist for a garnish. Sip and enjoy!
Strawberry Thyme Popsicles
- 2 pints strawberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons thyme syrup
- 8-10 slot popsicle mold
Wash, de-stem, and slice strawberries into a bowl. Sprinkle the strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Toss everything gently together and let sit for half an hour.
Pour the bowl of strawberries into a blender and add the thyme syrup. Blend until the fruit is smooth and lump-free. Pour the blended strawberries into the popsicle mold and freeze.
If your popsicle mold doesn’t have handles, add your wooden popsicle sticks an hour after you put your popsicles into the freezer. This stainless steel popsicle mold is perfect and can help you cut your plastic use.
Thyme Infused Whipped Cream (oh yeah!)
- One cup of heavy whipping cream
- One tablespoon of thyme syrup
Before beating your heavy whipping cream, put your bowl and beaters in the freezer for fifteen minutes. Pour heavy whipping cream and thyme syrup into the chilled bowl and beat just until soft peaks form when the beaters are pulled out of the cream.
Keep beating until you have sweet cream thyme butter.
Add a dollop of this fabulous whipped cream to waffles, peach cobbler, or blueberry ice cream. It’s even delicious floating on top of a cup of English breakfast tea!
If you make it into butter, it’s extraordinary on hot blueberry muffins. Spread it on a halved blueberry muffin and grill until golden and perfect.
Refreshing Lemon-Thyme Sweet Tea
- One large pitcher of sad, plain iced tea (around 8 cups)
- 1/2 cup of thyme syrup
- Juice of two lemons
Stir the thyme syrup and lemon juice into the pitcher of iced tea. Pour the iced tea into a large glass filled with ice and enjoy!
I love having this stuff in the fridge; you end up putting it in everything just because you can. It makes your lemonade pop, and it’s even quite good in coffee with lots of cream. Yes, coffee!
Make a batch and see what wonderful flavor profiles you come up with, all while enjoying a tamer patch of thyme in your garden.