The riper the raspberries and the colder the sparkling water or champagne, the better.
- 3 cups fresh raspberries
- 1½ cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 T. lemon thyme leaves (strip leaves from stems; do not chop)
- seltzer, sparkling lemon mineral water or dry champagne, chilled
- fresh raspberries or lemon thyme sprigs for garnish
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together raspberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and lemon thyme. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until raspberries have broken down and mixture is thickened but not stiff. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Press through fine sieve to remove seeds and thyme leaves. Let set at room temperature until cool. (Do not refrigerate, as it will get too stiff. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick syrup).
When ready to serve, whisk raspberry mixture to make sure it’s smooth. To make a non-alcoholic sparkler, fill a chilled 10-ounce glass about 1/3 full with crushed ice. Pour 1/3 cup raspberry mixture over ice. Top with seltzer or lemon mineral water, and stir. To make a champagne cocktail, pour 1/4 cup of raspberry mixture into a chilled champagne flute, and top with dry champagne; do not stir. Garnish with fresh raspberries or lemon thyme sprigs.
Makes approximately ten 10-ounce servings.