If you were to come visit me, the first thing I’d do would be to have you take a glimpse of our porch. It’s pretty much my favorite thing ever in the summertime.
We don’t really have room [or enough direct sunlight] to grow veggies, but every summer I grow tons of potted herbs. This summer we have rosemary, catnip, lemon thyme, parsley, chocolate mint, and spearmint [RIP summer savory]. I’m a lemon thyme newbie, and I am absolutely positively in loooove. Not only is the sweet and citrusy lemon thyme awesome in a tossed salad, but it makes a mean simple syrup that we’ve been chugging for the past two weeks straight. Seriously. Well, in my favorite Cold Brew Iced Tea… but we are SO addicted. [FYI Lipton has no idea who I am. I just like their Iced Tea.] It is so refreshing, smooth, and fun… a fabulous drink for the summer.
If you’ve never had lemon thyme before, you should get yourself some just for this recipe. It’s wonderfully aromatic and fresh. If you can’t find any, you can substitute common thyme and add the zest of one lemon to the simple syrup. Basically, this simple syrup is a spinoff of my Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup from last summer. Both are excellent in their own way, but what truly sets this Honey Lemon Thyme Simple Syrup apart is the honey base. Simple syrup is made by dissolving sugar in water on the stove, and infusing it with a variety of fruits, herbs, or any other additions of your choice. White sugar is my go-to sweetener for simple syrup, but I am so glad that I decided to experiment with honey this time for a bit of natural sweetness. It was a rockin’ success–the honey added a nutty, woodsy sweetness and paired perfectly with the tart lemon juice and the herby goodness of lemon thyme.
Now, I haven’t tried this… but both Ben and I agree that a little bit of Bourbon would be an excellent addition to this iced tea for a little grown-up fun. Let me know if you decide to try it that way–but even if you don’t, be sure to make some Honey Lemon Thyme Simple Syrup to flavor your iced tea for the 4th of July or any other special [or ordinary] summer day. Enjoy!
Honey Lemon Thyme Iced Tea [a TPC original]
click to print
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup + 1 quart water, divided [filtered if you prefer]
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup lemon thyme, roughly chopped
- 2 large “family-size” cold brew iced tea bags [or the equivalent of regular tea bags if you prefer iced tea made some other way… I like cold brew iced tea cause it’s easy]
In a small saucepan, combine honey, sugar, 1 cup water, lemon juice, and lemon thyme. Stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until sugar dissolves. Turn heat to low then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 20 minutes.
While simple syrup is steeping, prepare iced tea. Combine 1 quart water and tea bags in a large pitcher [mine is probably ~1 1/4 quarts] and let steep for 8-10 minutes, or until tea is brewed to desired preference. Place in refrigerator to chill.
After syrup has steeped 20 minutes, pour syrup through a fine strainer into a large measuring cup or bowl. Refrigerate syrup, strainer and all [to catch any last lingering drops of syrup caught up in the lemon thyme].
After tea and syrup have chilled, stir in syrup to taste. I used a generous 1/4 cup and found that plenty sweet for me, but it was nowhere near Southern sweet tea so if that’s your thing, use more. Store extra syrup in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Time: 2 hours [15 minutes active].
Yield: 6-8 servings tea, 2 cups simple syrup.
Linked with: Weekend Potluck.