Tarragon Gin and Tonics
Blanching and shocking the fresh tarragon then blending it into cold simple syrup helps preserve its verdant hue and fresh flavor. The syrup keeps well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 1 week, or you can freeze it in ice cube trays for longer storage if you want tarragon G&Ts on the fly. If you’re wary of tarragon, dial the syrup back to 2 teaspoons, adding more if you like to taste. Celery bitters add extra savory oomph to the drink, but you can leave them off if you don’t have any on hand or make your own.
Tarragon syrup (makes about ¾ cup, enough for 12 drinks):
- 1 bunch tarragon leaves (1 cup lightly packed)
- ½ cup (100 g) organic granulated sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- juice of 1 large lime, strained
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon / 15 ml) tarragon syrup
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup / 60 ml) chilled The Botanist Gin
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup / 60 ml) good tonic water, chilled (such as Fever Tree)
- squeeze of lime
- 3-4 drops celery bitters (such as Scrappy’s or homemade)
- ~4 ounces sparkling water
To make the syrup, make an ice water bath in a large bowl. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a metal bowl and place in the ice water bath, stirring until chilled. Reserve the ice water bath. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the tarragon leaves and cook for 5 seconds, until bright green. Drain the tarragon well and immediately place in the ice water bath. When cold, drain the tarragon and discard the ice, squeezing the excess water out of the leaves. Place the leaves in a blender and add half of the chilled simple syrup. Blend on medium until smooth, about 30 seconds, then blend in the remaining syrup and the lime juice. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and chill until needed, up to 1 week.
To make the cocktails, combine the tarragon syrup, gin, and tonic water in a small pitcher. Fill a tumbler or highball glass with ice and add the cocktail mixture. Top with a squeeze of lime, the bitters, and sparkling water. Taste, adding more lime, syrup, or tonic water if you like to taste. Enjoy!