1 (2-inch) strip lemon zest, plus lemon slices for garnish
1 liter chilled club soda
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the spices and stir for 2 min. or until you smell the spices begin to toast. Add water and sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add thyme and lemon peel. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and let cool. To serve, fill 4 cocktail glasses with ice. Pour 1/4 cup of the spiced simple syrup to each glass and top with club soda; be sure and get some of the thyme, peppercorns and star anise in each glass. For a cocktail version, start with a shot of gin or vodka, then add the syrup and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of lemon.
"I wanted to Thank You for the care that went into my last order. Everything was bagged and wrapped PERFECTLY. It really means a lot when I get a note thanking me for the business, and Nate- who wrote the note and I presume filled the order- did an OUTSTANDING job! I found you over 3 years ago while looking for specific spices for a Vodka recipe. I was so tired running from store to store looking for hard to find spices like Ras el Hanout, Fenugreek seeds, Berbere seasoning, or pomegranate molasses! Your fresh and potent spices, blends and waters make me look like a 'rock star chef' to my family- they THINK I know what I am doing! Thank you again for the choices you give to us and for a fabulous product!"