The Amateur Cocktail family went out on a little local discovery trip this past weekend. Back in March, I found a small market that caters to our local growing Ukrainian and Eastern European community. I came home with some Polish pickles that were a hit. That was a good enough reason to head back together to pick up some more and see what else we might find. The kids found a couple of candies (sold by the pound) that they enjoyed. I found a bottle of Tarragon flavored soda. I had never even considered that someone would flavor soda with herbs. I’m flexible though. It was a pretty hot day, so I was thinking Tom Collins, or maybe an “Ivan Collins.”

Finally got around to it today.

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 4-5 oz Chersi Tarragon soda

Build over ice and stir,

Not bad. The color from the soda is impressive. Not sure I got much Tarragon flavor off the drink. Not sweet, but not bitter, I’d say it fell between a Collins and a G&T.

I’m going to head back for a few more bottles. After reading Gary Regan’s article on a souped up Tom Collins, I think I’d like to try it with a 1/4 oz of Maraschino or some Cointreau.

cheers

addendum: Well, nothin is new I guess. Turned up other references to a Tarragon cocktail. This one is from San Francisco bar Bourbon and Branch. They make a Collins with a tarragon infused simple syrup which I suspect gives a cleaner taste. More info at: http://www.sfchroniclemarketplace.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/06/WIGOLLHEGV1.DTL

Closer to our endevour is this reference to a Tarragon Gin Fizz using tarragon infused gin, lemon juice and a Tarragon soda like ours: http://www.brightestyoungthings.com/food/classy-boozin-cocktail-week/ It sounds a lot like my Collins. Here again, some real tarragon flavor is introduced by way of the gin. A picture of the drink is here: http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:k5v6YEBXMWQJ:www.washingtonian.com/blogs/bestbites/wine%2520%26%2520spirits/index.html+tarragon+soda&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=17&gl=us It has the same neon green color from the soda, but interestingly, it is served neat. References to the event where this was served are included in several other blog postings. It must have been a hit.

I actually have a small tarragon plant in our garden. The trouble is, if I take enough of it to make an infusion, I’ll kill the poor thing. Time to look out for some in the local markets and hit the Costco liquor store for some bulk gin on our next trip to SC.

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