These easy summer cocktails use a homemade strawberry and thyme simple syrup!
For the Simple Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (1/2 pound; about half of a standard grocery store container)
- 3–4 sprigs fresh thyme
Note: This recipe makes enough simple syrup for several cocktails. Use what you need and store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week!
For the Cocktails:
- 2 ounces simple syrup (recipe above)
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 4 ounces tequila (you can also use vodka or gin)
- Plenty of ice (at least 3 cups)
- Extra fresh strawberries, for garnish (optional)
- Extra sprigs of thyme, for garnish (optional)
For the simple syrup:
- Stir sugar, water, strawberries, and thyme together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes until sugar has dissolved and strawberries have softened. The syrup should turn a bright, rich pink color as the strawberries begin to break down.
- Remove syrup from heat and let cool for 20-30 minutes, then strain to remove all fruit and herbs. (Pro tip: Reserve the leftover strawberries for smoothies!)
- Use cooled syrup immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Note: This recipe makes enough simple syrup for several cocktails; use what you need for your drinks today and save the rest in the fridge for later!
For the cocktails:
- Add simple syrup, lime juice, and tequila (or your spirit of choice) to a large cocktail shaker. Shake over ice until chilled, then pour into cocktail glasses filled with ice.
- Garnish drinks with fresh strawberries and a sprig of thyme (optional) and serve immediately.
Adjust the sweetness. These drinks are very forgiving – add a bit of lime juice or simple syrup as necessary to achieve your preferred level of sweetness. If you tend to dislike sweeter drinks, we recommend dialing back the simple syrup a little bit when you mix these cocktails (you can always taste and add more later!)
How do I measure ounces? 2 ounces is equivalent to 1/4 cup.
Additions and substitutions. Use fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or peaches in place of the strawberries. You can use frozen fruit if you prefer (you may need to extend the cook time by a few minutes). Use fresh rosemary or basil in place of the thyme, or omit the herbs altogether if you prefer to just have the strawberry flavor. To stretch these drinks a bit, make the cocktail as directed, then fill each glass halfway with the cocktail and top with club soda, tonic water, or prosecco.
How to add a salt or sugar rim to your cocktail. Spread a thin layer of sugar or salt over a plate. Run a wedge of citrus (lime, orange, lemon) around the rim of each glass, then dip the glass into the salt. If you don’t have any citrus, you can pour a bit of water into a shallow bowl and dip the mouth of the glass into the water.
What kind of spirit should I use? These cocktails are delicious with tequila, gin, and vodka! We like using Espolòn Blanco Tequila, Broker’s or Beefeater London Dry Gin, and Ketel One or New Amsterdam vodka for cocktails. But use whatever you like to drink!
To make this strawberry cocktail for a crowd, follow a 1:1:2 ratio (1 part strawberry syrup, 1 part lime juice, 2 parts spirit) and scale up as needed.
If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, shake your drinks in a large mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Store extra strawberry syrup in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to six months.
Love this recipe? Check out our fan-favorite Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade!
Keywords: cocktails, spirits, home bar