A lot of people think of white wine when they hear the word spritzer, but using liqueurs is a great way to really punch up the flavor. You probably figured out that I like to use limoncello in cocktails (how did you know??), and this Limoncello Thyme Spritzer is one of the easiest and most refreshing ways to enjoy it.
The traditional way to enjoy limoncello is just ice cold in a shot glass, but it's super versatile as a mixer. In this drink I wanted it to shine a bit more, so I kept it really simple. I first made this spritzer in late spring, after I made my first batch of homemade limoncello, and it quickly became a craving on hot, lazy afternoons.
It's simple, not too strong, and the fresh thyme makes it feel fancy as heck. Also, the thyme and lemon peel aren't just garnishes. They add a really nice aroma and flavor each time you take a sip.
Why add Thyme to this cocktail?
Herbal cocktails are something I had to grow into. I used to have the biggest sweet tooth EVER, so anything with herbs in it would freak me out a little. Once I started really understanding how flavors play off of each other, it was like an entire world of flavor opened up. Now they are one of my favorite things to incorporate into my cocktails!
Thyme and lemon go really well together. When you're using fresh herbs, all you really need to do is slap the herbs in your palms a little bit to release the aroma. Then, just use it as a garnish, and the flavor will come through in the smell of the drink.
To make this simple spritzer, you'll need the following:
- Limoncello (or other liqueur)
- Vodka (optional)
- Lemon bitters
- Fresh thyme
To make this drink, you'll ideally want to have a cocktail shaker and strainer. However, if you don't have one, you can also stir this one with ice and strain out the ice to serve.
You'll also need cocktail serving glasses. I used a coupe glass style, but any cocktail glass will do. Just make sure they're on the small side (around 5 ounces). Since they're served without ice, they'll get warm fairly quickly.
If you don't have Limoncello on hand, you can substitute almost any kind of fruit-based liqueur according to your taste. The thyme works best with citrus, but a strawberry liqueur would also go really well here.
You can also use tonic instead of seltzer if you'd like to add a little extra bitterness and sweetness.
Other Cocktails You Might Like
- Make your own Homemade Limoncello to use in this spritzer
- Another refreshing, low-ABV drink is this Cucumber Gin Cocktail
- An Earl Grey Sour is perfect for a cozy afternoon
Limoncello Thyme Spritzer
- 2½ oz limoncello
- 1½ oz vodka (optional; if you omit it, add more seltzer)
- 4 dashes lemon bitters (orange bitters also work well)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (save two for garnish)
- 6 oz seltzer
- lemon peel (garnish)
- Add the limoncello, vodka and bitters to a shaker with some ice.2½ oz limoncello, 1½ oz vodka, 4 dashes lemon bitters
- Rub a couple sprigs of thyme between your fingers and add it to the shaker.4 sprigs fresh thyme
- Shake to dilute, about 15-20 shakes.
- Strain into two coupe glasses.
- Top with seltzer.6 oz seltzer
- Garnish with more thyme and a lemon twist.4 sprigs fresh thyme, lemon peel