Maypole Cocktail by Melissa Temsook-Boeker at Atlas Oyster House. / Bruce Granerfirstname.lastname@example.org
May has always been my favorite month. The April rain is over. It is not too hot. It is not too cold. It is filled with graduations, weddings and well-needed vacations. It is for those reasons that May takes on an air of relaxation.
I always think of the traditional maypoles where children dance around a tall pole, each holding a ribbon, weaving them into a pattern from top to bottom. It has been a long time since I have actually seen a real maypole, but I guess the thought of spring makes me nostalgic. So it is with thoughts of sunshine and soft breezes that I give a cocktail worthy of this month.
Thinking of the maypoles I danced around as a kid, I think that it would be appropriate to give a nod to the lemon-drop candies I enjoyed back then too. So this cocktail is a variation of the lemon-drop martini, but with an aromatic twist of thyme.
2 ounces Grey Goose Citron vodka
1 ounce Limoncello
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce thyme-infused simple syrup (recipe follows)
Strawberry purée, for decoration
Swirl strawberry purée into a chilled martini glass in the pattern of your choosing. Combine vodka, limoncello, lemon juice and thyme-infused simple syrup over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into prepared martini glass. Garnish with a fresh sprig of thyme and ribbons to weave around the stem of the glass.
FOR THE THYME-INFUSED SYRUP
10-15 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepot and heat slowly until sugar is completely melted. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and let cool to room temperature before using.
Atlas Oyster House, 600 S. Barracks St. 437-1961, or visit atlas.goodgrits.com.