January always seems to be my favorite month. And no, it’s not because my birthday is in it. For some reason, and maybe it’s the mentality of the newness of a fresh start and beginning a new year, it seems that I’m at my highest creative peak. The colder, winter days allow me to hibernate and create indoors, and my mind goes wild with new ideas. For some reason, the summer months stagnate that growth tremendously and I wonder what I’ve done wrong. But it’s seasonal, you see. It’s the ebb and flow.
This is good. This is really, really good. Because the past several months I’ve felt I’ve been in a dry, inspiration-less draught. New cupcake recipe ideas, cocktail combinations, and cooking infusions I think of in the middle of the night have suddenly popped out underneath the surface again. Some of the best ideas and things I have ever made have come from being a complete insomniac, my mind running wild of endless combinative ideas. Maybe that’s why I’m called the Baking Bird. Because, you know, owls (my favorite bird) are nocturnal and all. Get it? Ha.
Ok. Anyway, last night was one of those nights. I think drinking two cups of caffeinated coffee (which I never, EVER drink but they didn’t have decaf) at noon with brunch had something to do with it. I ran seven miles like a crazy woman, and stayed up way too late reading my new Bible (of flavors, that is), and couldn’t stop thinking about flavor combinations and milkshakes and cupcakes I wanted to make. The milkshakes and cupcakes will have to wait a few days, because I have a little something else in store for you.
Lemon Thyme and Sage Simple Syrup.
This is the spark that is lighting the fire, I tell you. I’ve never made a simple syrup before, and goodness gracious, it was so easy! I want to make a simple syrup of everything under the sun! Since I don’t drink soda, and mostly love the bubbly water without sugar or fake sugar, this is a great way to jazz up some of that every once in a while. I’m so thrilled to start making notes about herbs, spices or fruits that catch my eye. I’m thinking up something with saffron and cardamom sometime soon…
You can pour a bit of this on the rocks with some lemon wedges, or add a splash of Vodka if you need it. The possibilities are endless. What about you? Have you experimented with homemade syrups before?
Lemon Thyme & Sage Simple Syrup
Makes 2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups filtered water
- .5 oz fresh lemon (or regular) thyme
- .25 oz fresh sage
- lemon wedges, to serve
- plain sugar-free soda water
- Bring the water and sugar to a boil.
- Add the thyme and sage, cover, turn off the heat, and let cool.
- Using a strainer and a funnel, pass through into your storing jar.
- To make one drink: in an ice filled glass, combine 1-2 ounces of the thyme sage syrup with 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice. Optional: 1-2 oz of Vodka. Garnish with a sprig or two of thyme. Enjoy!