Farmers Market Kitchen: Tom Cat, Thyme and Tonic | Bite Club
Pin It

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Tom Cat, Thyme and Tonic

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 2:19 PM

click to enlarge Tom Cat, Thyme and Tonic - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Tom Cat, Thyme and Tonic
If there's one thing my kitchen garden does really well, it's grow herbs. Like clockwork, thyme blooms around the summer solstice, sending up charming little columns of flowers that seem to last for weeks. To eat, these blooms are somewhat milder than the leaves, tender and sweet, with light tannic notes (thyme is, after all, a woody herb) and a hint of licorice. 

In April, Caledonia Spirits released a limited run of its Barr Hill Reserve  Tom Cat gin, which was aged in Vermont white oak barrels made by a cooper outside of Plattsburgh. On my way through Hardwick earlier this month, I stopped at the distillery and snapped up a bottle. It's a sipping gin — golden in color, smooth and honey-sweet with herbal, woody and nut-brown flavors that you can unpack for hours.

I like to savor a liquor this good (and in a bottle so small — just 375 ml!),  so I use it sparingly in cocktails. But, muddled with English thyme flowers and topped with tonic, Tom Cat makes for a refined spin on a classic. It's a cocktail that suggests fresh herbs at first sip, and then the liquor's woody, whiskey-sweet flavors take over. 

I also added a few drops of black currant simple syrup from St. Hilaire Family Farm (available at Burlington Farmers Market and City Market/Onion River Co-op). Since it's officially summer now!


  • 2 ounces Tom Cat barrel-aged gin
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme, in flower
  • Ice to fill glass
  • Tonic water
  • Black currant simple syrup*
Pour a shot of aged gin in a rocks glass. Remove thyme flowers from stems and add to the liquor. Muddle with a wooden spoon or pestle. Fill glass with ice; pour tonic to fill; stir gently. If you feel like it, add a floater of black currant or berry simple syrup or a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

Related Locations

About The Author

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan is a food and drink writer at Seven Days.

More by Hannah Palmer Egan


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

More on Farmers Market Kitchen

Latest in Bite Club

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation