Tarragon Cocktails

Tarragon LeavesIf you’re looking for a drink with subtle herbal notes, look no further than Tarragon cocktails. A tender herb that’s never really achieved the limelight some others have found, Tarragon is lightly flavored and accents lightly flavored drinks well. With pointed dark green leaves, it should be fairly easy to identify versus most of the other cocktail herbs..

Tarragon is a perennial available in many different varieties, but French Tarragon is the most aromatic and ideal for drinks. The next best options for tarragon cocktails include: Spanish Tarragon (aka Mexican, Texas, Winter). It’s relatively easy to grow if you place it in a warm, sunny place but be aware that French Tarragon should be purchased as a starter plant since it is sterile and doesn’t produce seeds.

What Does Tarragon Taste Like?

Tarragon has a very subtle, anise-like flavor that’s commonly used for dishes like seafood, poultry, eggs, fresh veggies and especially Béarnaise sauce. Some suggest that the flavor is mild or grassy, but I wouldn’t describe it that way; maybe my palate is broken 😉

How to Pronounce Tarragon

How to Pronounce TarragonTarragon is popular across the world, so normally you’d think that proper pronunciation might be a real challenge. Thankfully that’s just not the case, even though it’s among the four fine herbs of France not to mention commonly used in carbonated beverages in Eurasian countries like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and others. Check it out:

Tarragon Cocktail Flavor Pairings

The distinctively grassy flavor of this herb offers great opportunity to create unique Tarragon cocktails with an assortment of different ingredients. As a compliment to other flavors, Tarragon works well with citrus flavors as well as strawberry and tomato, while acting as the most prominent ingredient it can be paired with a number of more subtly flavored ingredients and spirits – think gin and vodka.  

2 Tarragon Cocktails to Get You Started

Bourbon and Blood

Bourbon and Blood CocktailRooted in the simplicity of the Boulevardier cocktail , the Bourbon and Blood combines interesting flavors to make the among my favorite Tarragon cocktails. The winner of About.com’s August 2015 cocktail contest, this is sure to tingle your tastebuds.

Despite this cocktail’s simplicity the ingredient list is probably more than what most home bartenders have in their bar; making substitutions is fine but the Blood Orange Liqueur is a must have. Afterall, it is called Bourbon and Blood.


  • 1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Carpano Antica Red Vermouth
  • 1 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 1-2 Dashes The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
  • 6 Small leaves freshly picked tarragon
  • Orange Twist


Vodka Tarragon Gimlet

Tarragon Vodka GimletA variant of the traditional gin version, this herby vodka gimlet delivers fresh flavor that so typical of a Tarragon cocktail. Needless to say the lime is dominant, but you’ll find just a hint of the warming tarragon flavor.


  • 1½ oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Tarragon syrup
  • ¾-1 oz. Fresh lime juice

Tarragon Syrup

  • ½ C. of water
  • ½ C. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Tarragon leaves

Bring the water and sugar to boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the tarragon leaves. Let infuse for a few hours, then strain into an airtight container and store in the fridge. The syrup will last for a few weeks.


  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Shake well
  • Strain into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with Tarragon leaves