Christmas recipe: Gin and thyme martini

Gin and thyme martini

Gin and thyme martini - Credit: Lean Timms

Stroud writer Kate Young’s debut cookbook The Little Library Year was published to great acclaim last year, and now she’s back with her follow-up, The Little Library Christmas, a collection of 50 festive recipes

When I was eighteen, I decided I needed to have a signature drink: something I always ordered when we went out. In my teen years, that drink was an amaretto on ice, something I have not tasted since I left Australia. The smell of it now (sweet, syrupy cyanide) sends me back to those years, to university and to parties with my old school friends. Over the next decade, I went through a series of ‘signature drinks’ – good Irish whiskey, an old fashioned, a whisky sour, a margarita. What I learnt is that I like far too many things to ever commit myself to one exclusive favourite. But also that, if absolutely forced to choose, more often than not it would be a martini.

Makes enough for 1, but easy to scale once you have the appropriate bottles

infused simple syrup

300g/10½oz sugar

150ml/? cup water

1tbsp pink peppercorns

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8 sprigs thyme, plus extra to serve

per martini

10ml/2tsp infused simple syrup

60ml/4tbsp gin (a citrus-heavy one)

5ml/1tsp dry vermouth


1. First, make the infused simple syrup. Bring the sugar, water, peppercorns and thyme to a simmer in a saucepan, and bubble gently for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, pour into a sterilized bottle and store in the fridge, where it will keep for a couple of weeks.

2. To assemble the drink, put a few cubes of ice and a little cold water in each cocktail glass, to chill them. Leave them for a few minutes, then tip the water and ice away, and gently wipe them out.

3. Put a handful of ice in cocktail shaker. Pour enough simple syrup for each person over the ice in the cocktail shaker, and stir, trying not to bash the ice. Pour in the gin and vermouth, stir again, and then immediately strain into your glass(es). Serve with a sprig of thyme.

This recipe is taken from The Little Library Christmas, by Stroud writer, Kate Young. It’s published by Head of Zeus, £15 paperback/£10 ebook.

SEE ALSO: Crisp Brussels sprouts recipe.

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