I love cocktails.
In my opinion, cocktails symbolize the culmination of creativity and elegance. Cocktails can be new and innovative, yet they always seem to have an essence of tradition.
No two are the same — unless you buy those mixers — and there’s always a way to personalize or recreate a libation to make it your own. Still, amongst the fervent excitement of new and inventive menus, it can be easy to lose sight of how marvelous a simple cocktail can be. One doesn’t need 15 ingredients, a few extracts, and a homemade simple syrup to be worthy of a night out. (Although I do love a unique simple syrup.) Sometimes the simplest drinks are the most festive or, honestly, most enjoyable.
This Kumquat & Thyme Cocktail drops anchor on the simple end of the spectrum, while still being festive and unique. The combination of earthy thyme with tart kumquats is subtle and refreshing. Then a touch of ginger beer adds a slight sweetness while a topper of club soda keeps it light.
Easily adaptable to your own preferences, rosemary would be a great stand in for thyme in this drink. And with citrus season in full swing, feel free to use any citrus you like. Kumquats just add a unique tartness and undeniable charm.
A few nuggets to share with you:
As a blog focused on balance eating, cocktails might be an unexpected inclusion. But Zestful Kitchen’s vision of balanced eating includes enjoying treats alongside lots of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. And to me, cocktails are a treat, thus they get to be included!
4 kumquats, halved
1 thyme sprig
½ teaspoon sugar
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces ginger beer
Thyme sprigs, for garnish
Kumquats, for garnish
Muddle kumquats, thyme, and sugar in a cocktail shaker until bruised and juices release, about 30 seconds.
Add vodka and ginger beer to shaker, fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a high ball glass, top with club soda and garnish with thyme sprigs and kumquats.
If you desire, garnish the rims of the glasses with thyme–sugar.
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Combine thyme and sugar in a shallow dish. Drip glass rims in water then in sugar to coat.