Pink Peppercorn Thyme Soda

prepared by and photo by Emily Doscher

Refreshing yet has zing.  The peppery flare gives this non-alcoholic beverage just a slight kick while still “wettin’ your whistle”.  Perfect mocktail to warm the soul after a strenuous day of apple picking.

Size: makes 8

8 whole star anise (available in spice section)
2 tbsp whole pink peppercorns plus additional for garnish
1 tbsp whole cloves
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh thyme sprigs plus 8 additional sprigs for garnish
Ice cubes
4 cups chilled club soda


Toast anise, 2 tablespoons peppercorns, and cloves in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic, stirring often, about 2 minutes.  Wrap spices in triple layer of cheesecloth; tie shut.  Pound with rolling pin to crush spices lightly.  Bring 3 cups water and sugar to boil in medium saucepan.  Add spices in cheesecloth.  Remove from heat; cover and steep 15 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup thyme sprigs; cover and steep 10 minutes longer. Strain syrup into medium bowl.  Chill until cold.  (Can be made 1 week ahead.  Cover and keep refrigerated).

Fill 8 tall glasses with ice.  Divide syrup among glasses.  Add 1/2 cup soda to each glass.  Garnish with thyme sprigs and peppercorns.


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Author: Emily Sarah Downs

Cuisine Coordinator, Tips From Town, Ridgewood, NJ


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