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Thyme Tincture DIY: The Experiment


Thyme Tincture

Illustration by Phil Jimcosky

I have recently been exposed to the wonderful and varied world of tinctures. In November we threw our 3rd Annual Red Carpet Party at the Napa Valley Opera House. Mixologists from around the valley joined us to compete in The King’s Ginger Holiday Cocktail Competition upstairs, while downstairs San Francisco based mixologists Daniel Stahl from Rickhouse and Trevor Easter of Heaven’s Dog shook up their own creations for the crowd. Both drinks were outstanding, but Daniel’s sparked my interest because it contained a component that I had only heard about, but never knowingly experienced at that point; a tincture.

In the last few years tinctures have gained popularity in cocktail bars around the country. They allow a mixologist to explore different flavors and add a complexity that can elevate a cocktail to a whole different level. I did a little research on tinctures after my experience and discovered that there is really very little that goes into making them, which was a bit surprising given that they provide maximum flavor output. You simply choose your flavoring agents pack them in a jar, cover them with grain alcohol and shake every day for about six weeks, strain and bottle.

It is so easy, how could I not make a tincture at home?

I did a little research, but I didn’t really find much on tinctures for cocktails. Knowing the basic idea behind them I have started to experiment. Daniel used a tincture of thyme to garnish the drink he was shaking up back in November, so I decided to start with thyme. It has been two weeks since I packed my jars. Things seem to be going well, but I’ve got four weeks to go. Wish me luck and I’ll be back to share my results with you and if you’re lucky, the recipe for Daniel’s Just In Thyme cocktail.

For more fine beverage adventures look me up on Twitter @HungryMutineer.


  1. Ginger lover | Monday, March 12, 2012

    How did it turn out?! Did any of the ginger recipes use Domaine de Canton? That stuff is tasty. I love their website since it gives so many great ideas and recipes with ginger. Have you ever tried it?

  2. Thyme Tincture DIY: The Results | Mutineer Magazine | Friday, April 6, 2012

    […] results are in and I am happy to report that my foray into the world of tinctures was a success. The concentrated liquid had a powerful herbaceous, smoky and slightly pungent aroma […]

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