This refreshing drink takes advantage of delicious spring strawberries and fresh thyme. Enjoy it with a sparkling wine such as Prosecco or in an alcohol-free version with sparkling cider or water.
Put 1/4 pint (3 ounces) strawberries (about 3 large/6 medium/9 small) into a small pot with the cup of superfine sugar, the thyme sprigs, and 6 ounces of water. Bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to a simmer and cook the mixture for 10-15 minutes until the strawberries are quite soft.
Once it is cooked, take the pot off the stove and cool the mixture for 30 minutes. Then take out the sprigs of thyme and strain the mixture into a measuring up or container. Chill it well, for at least 1 hour.
Put the rest of the strawberries into a blender and crush them. Then strain the mixture to remove the seeds.
Mix 1 ounce of the puree and 1 ounce of simple syrup. Top with about 4 ounces of Prosecco, other sparkling wine or a non-alcoholic alternative such as sparkling apple cider or sparkling water. If desired garnish with a half or quarter of a hulled strawberry, sliced partway up so you can slide it onto the glass. If you want to intensify the thyme aroma, rub a sprig of fresh between your fingers (to release the aroma), and put it in the glass. Although it's not as sturdy as a celery stick in a Bloody Mary and therefore can't be twirled around, it's a nice touch and adds to the festive quality of the drink.
Here are easy instructions on how to hull strawberries (cutting off the top and the inner core), along with some rather interesting strawberry facts and helpful tips.
To keep the glasses pristine, I mixed the simple syrup and puree in a separate measuring cup before adding them to the glass and topping it off with the sparkling wine or non-alcoholic alternative.
This recipe makes more than enough strawberry-thyme simple syrup for a double batch, about 10 ounces total. Keep any unused simple syrup refrigerated for about a week or freeze for use beyond that time.
If making a double batch, make only 1 batch of simple syrup and use all the rest of the strawberries (about 18 ounces) for the puree.