Whiskey on Provence Thyme
Pour ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir to chill. Strain over an ice globe in a chilled double old-fashioned glass.
Garnish with a lemon peel and sprig of thyme.
It seems like just yesterday our family was lucky enough to be traipsing across the French countryside in search of the best wine, cheese, baguettes and pastries we could find. In reality, it’s been four months. Surprisingly, I still have half a bottle of the thyme liquor my friend Sasha and I had great difficulty finding. Charming and resourceful, she eventually zeroed in on a specialty liquor shop where her friend had one bottle of Manguin Farigoule, which is described on the bottle as, “la saveur des herbes de la colline, avec une pointe de thym,” which translates to, “the flavor of the herbs of the hill, with a hint of thyme.”
Farigoule is the French name for both wild Provençal thyme and the traditional liqueur that is made from adding it to pomace brandy, aka Eau de Vie de Marc aka Grappa. Pomace is the solids that remain after pressing the juice out of fruit, in this case the grapes used in wine making. Distilling it gives you pomace brandy. Yay science!
My first instinct is to mix it with gin in a twist on classic cocktail The Last Word, but I’m out of gin.
OUT OF GIN!!!
After the panic subsides, I consider other options. As it’s fall, I lean toward whiskey anyway, so I ran a quick google search for inspiration. I found a Food & Wine recipe called Absalom’s Retreat that mixes yellow Chartreuse with Irish Whiskey. Using that as a jumping-off point, I mix Bushmills and Farigoule with lemon juice, simple syrup and Angostura Bitters. The aromatics aren’t as pronounced as I want, so I cut 1/4 ounce thyme from my front yard and make a thyme simple syrup with 1/2 cup each of sugar and water.
For take two, I pour 1.5 ounces each of Bushmills and Farigoule, 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, one-and-a-half teaspoons of thyme simple syrup and 3 dashes of Angostura bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice, then stir for thirty seconds and strain over an ice globe into a double old-fashioned glass. To add a some bonus oo-la-la, I garnish with a lemon twist and a sprig of thyme. I taste. Et voila!
It could be better, but only if I were sharing it with Sasha in Provence.
À ta santé!
Thyme Simple Syrup Recipe
1/4 ounce thyme sprigs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then let cool in pan before straining through cheesecloth. Makes 1/2 cup.