(Sparkling) Tarragon-Gin Lemonade


The June issue of Bon Appetit is filled with all kinds of recipes I want to try. So many pages are dog-eared. From a feature on Cali-Persian cooking, we made the beet yogurt and the jeweled rice is still on my list. The shirazi salad looks spectacular, like summer exploded onto a platter. There’s a spread on cold noodle salads with crispy shallots on one page and translucent noodles tangled with carrots and cilantro on the next. It’s the kick in the butt I need to use up my ginger and sesame oil, especially when the results look like this.

And then, herbs! Parsley pesto spaghetti leads the herb feature into tips on growing your herbs, infusing oil with them, and using everything of the herb, from the flower down to the root. Lately, I’m a fan of herbs in my cocktails.

The original recipe for this cocktail calls for club soda, but I topped this off with a generous splash of a Belgian blond ale. This darkened the color of the drink a bit and sort of rounded out the flavors. Sparkling wine would also be good, but this drink could work without a sparkling ingredient. That elderflower liqueur adds a nice floral note that complements the tarragon. Feel free to switch up the herbs though. Basil and mint are obvious contenders. I may play around with this drink some more. Thyme could work here, but then again, I always think thyme is a good idea. A little thyme would make this?

(sparkling) tarragon-gin lemonade

Tarragon adds a slight anise-like flavor to the cocktail, but feel free to swap in another herb. It’s a refreshing cocktail that fits right in with summer. The original recipe for this makes a whole pitcher of drinks, but I’ve broken it down to serve one.Β 

2 large sprigs tarragon
2 or 3 lemon slices
1 teaspoon simple syrup
2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces St-Germain elderflower liqueur
big splash of club soda, sparkling wine, or belgian blond ale (optional)

Muddle tarragon, lemon slices, and simple syrup in the bottom of a highball glass. Add gin, elderflower liqueur, and your choice of effervescent drink, if using. Add ice and stir a couple times. Serve immediately. To make a large pitcher of this cocktail that serves 6, follow the recipe here.

Serves 1. Adapted from Bon Appetit.