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We’re celebrating the sweet and tangy tastes of citrus! High in vitamin C, these juicy fruits will perk up your taste buds and help to keep your immune system strong all season long. For an inventive and delicious libation, this thyme-infused honey adds a pronounced floral sweetness to the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. I love the sweet and bitter taste of grapefruit paired with the botanical taste of gin, (or vodka if preferred) with the thyme lending its herbaceousness. The perfect springtime cocktail!
I first tried this refreshing cocktail while watching the sunsets on the northwestern tip of Santorini overlooking whitewashed houses carved into the rugged cliffs, and the vast caldera filled with water.

Santorini Sunset Cocktail
Makes 2 cocktails

2 slices pink grapefruit
8 mint leaves
4 teaspoons thyme-infused honey or good local honey
4 ounces gin (or vodka)
6 ounces freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 ounces Campari

In each glass, muddle a grapefruit slice together with mint and honey. Add the gin or vodka, grapefruit juice, and Campari.

Top the glass with ice cubes, and gently stir all the contents together. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.

Thyme-Infused Honey
I love how easy infused honey is to make and how many ways you can use it. My favorite use so far is to sweeten cocktails, but there are many others. Make a few mini jars of thyme honey for perfect housewarming gifts, use it in hot or iced tea, or enjoy a spoonful to soothe coughs naturally.

Sprigs of fresh thyme, washed and dried
Raw honey, preferably local

Fill a glass jar roughly half full with fresh thyme. The more thyme you use, the stronger the flavor will be. Cover the thyme with honey and fill to the top. Stir the mixture a bit to coat the herbs with the honey and to remove any air bubbles. Close the jar firmly with a lid and place in a warm spot, preferably by a sunny window to allow the honey to infuse for at least five days. The longer you wait, the more flavorful your honey will be. (If you need a faster method, you can put the honey and thyme in a double boiler and heat at 180°F for 10-15 minutes.)

Chef’s Note: After five days, check to see if the honey smells and tastes like thyme. If it does, then you are done. You can strain the thyme out through a cheesecloth before use, but it’s messy. I prefer to leave the thyme in. Store in a cool cupboard. Herb-infused honey will last for several months.

A Taste of Ojai II Cookbook, Flavors of the Valley

A collection of recipes inspired by the bounty of local ingredients available in Ojai. Over 60+ recipes to help you create meals infused with the spirit of Ojai.
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