1 cup sugar
8 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for serving
1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
splash of vodka (optional)
Combine the sugar, thyme, and 1 cup water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool and discard the thyme.
Combine the thyme syrup with the strawberries, lemon juice, and 5 cups cold water in a large pitcher. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours. Serve over ice, garnished with additional thyme. Add a splash of vodka, if desired.