When Alyssa and I started this site, we cooked and photographed alone. It was the two of us, an insane amount of groceries ordered online, and a sometimes charged camera blogging in a true frenzy in my bedroom (it had the best light; welcome to New York apartments). Except for an occasional visit from a roommate to taste test or hand model, we were on our own.

We started this site for a number of reasons. Somewhat importantly, that I once made Alyssa some vegan cinnamon rolls and she insisted we start a food blog immediately. But more importantly, that we wanted a space to share recipes, photos and stories with our family and friends. Our parents and some siblings still live in Michigan, and we’re lucky enough to have friends scattered throughout the country and the world. This site would be a way to get together, cook a wild amount of food, and share it online with the people we love the most.

Lately, though, the sharing of food and photos has gotten a lot more direct. This was the second time we had people over while we blogged (read: stood on step stools over fragile folding tables and ran around the kitchen maniacally), and it was lovely. Like, more lovely than I ever would have expected. In total we had seven people, including us, in my apartment, and while my apartment now is bigger than the one I used to live in when the blog started, that’s still a LOT of people to fit in one space. Again, New York apartments.

On the day we made these cocktails, our friends helped us by drinking them (or spitting them out; Meyer lemons aren’t everyone’s thing), but they also helped us make crepes, take tiny thyme leaves off of tiny thyme sprigs, clean a never-ending pile of dishes and contort their hands into weird-in-person-great-in-photo poses. It was crazy, and crowded, and perfect.


In another example of “Rina, amazing story, so glad you have a social life, but I came her for an actual recipe,” I’ll finally get to the point. This drink is AMAZING. Truly. I love anything lemon, and these drinks are a third pure Meyer lemon juice. Meyer lemons are sweeter than normal lemons so this isn’t like, so insane, but you can always add less juice. The rest of the drink is whisky and a simple syrup infused with thyme, which sounds fancy and earns you bragging rights but requires maybe 10% concentration, so you can still pay attention to all of the people you have in your house, or all of the cats, or whoever else is hanging out in there.

Buy a sack of lemons, a carton of thyme and a handle of whisky and get to it. Invite some people over and you have yourself a gorgeous afternoon.

Love and meows, Rina



Yield: 1 drink

Active Cook Time: 10m | Total Cook Time: 35m (includes steeping)

Category: Drinks

Source: Food Network

Special Equipment: cocktail shaker, optional (we never use this, but it feels fancy)


thyme simple syrup:

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

4 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves*

whisky sour:

1 ½ ounces bourbon or whisky of choice (3 Tablespoons)

1 ½ ounces thyme simple syrup (3 Tablespoons)

1 ounce freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (2 Tablespoons or 1 lemon)

Lemon peel, to garnish

Thyme sprigs, to garnish

*yes, it will be a slight pain in the ass to pluck this many thyme leaves, and yes, it is worth it.


Make the thyme simple syrup: add the sugar, water and thyme leaves to a saucepan and place on medium heat. Stir and cook until sugar is totally dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Strain, discard the thyme leaves and allow to cool.

Assemble: if you’re using a shaker, add the whisky, simple syrup and lemon juice in with some ice. Shake it up and pour into a glass. If not, just pour ingredients into a glass and stir. Chill the syrup in the fridge a bit if you’re going this route. Garnish with some lemon peel and thyme sprigs and drink up.

To keep: the thyme simple syrup will keep in the fridge for a WHILE (I read somewhere that it can keep for up to 6 months but I do not believe that and also I think you will use all of it way faster than that).