Homemade Tarragon Soda

Homemade Tarragon Soda Recipe

Not everyone loves tarragon, but I do. When you steep sprigs of it, take a deep breath over the sauce pan, its like falling into a cloud of anise, and fennel, and green-ish black licorice, if there was such a thing. So, I buy it. Not as often as chives or basil, but more often than parsley, which I purchase just about never. So, I noticed the remnants of a small bunch of tarragon was starting the slide towards the compost bin the other day, and instead of letting it go I made a quick tarragon syrup. A tiny splash in sparkling water with a squeeze of lime or grapefruit makes a favorite not-too-sweet afternoon soda. I'll post that recipe down below. But, you can also build on the general idea. Add some coins of smashed ginger along with the tarragon to steep in your simple syrup, and you've got a bit of spicy kick to play off the tarragon notes. Other ideas? Drizzle a thread of the tarragon syrup across goat cheese or strained yogurt on a cheese plate. Or over ricotta. It plays well with citrus, so you could do a little drizzle across your oatmeal (or baked oatmeal), and then add a good amount of lemon or orange zest. Or drizzle it over broiled grapefruit halves. Or use it to sweeten your lemon/ limeade this summer. I sometimes add a tiny hint to the bottom of my espresso cup in the morning before Wayne pulls a shot for me - it adds that je ne sais quoi. I'm just going to keep going. The smallest splash in a glass with a sprig of fresh tarragon before pouring a glass of prosecco is fragrant and nice. You can do an "adult soda" with a splash of gin. Or use the syrup in a sorbet. You get the idea. Use the syrup to make a soda like this, and experiment with the leftover syrup. And let me know if you stumble on any favorite uses! xo-h

Homemade Tarragon Soda
Homemade Tarragon Soda
Homemade Tarragon Soda

Homemade Tarragon Soda

1 cup natural cane sugar
1 cup water
3 sprigs of fresh tarragon

sparkling water, seltzer water, or a non-sweetened carbonated drink like grapefruit or meyer lemon Spindrift

for serving: ice, and some fresh tarragon leaves

Stir the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, five minutes or so, remove from heat, and add the tarragon sprigs to the pan. Cover and allow to steep for at least ten minutes. At that point, taste (careful, hot!), and see if you want your syrup stronger, if so, allow to steep another ten minutes or so. I like to make my syrup quite strong, knowing in most cases I'll be diluting or using a small amount.

Refrigerate. To serve, fill each glass with ice and a tarragon leaf or two. Add a splash of the tarragon syrup and top with seltzer water or something along those lines. Stir well and adjust with more syrup to taste.


Makes about 1 cup.

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I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi

Comments

I love this idea! I have a flourishing tarragon plant in my garden, so I'll be able to whip up a batch any time I want this summer.

mary

Fresh tarragon is one of my most favorite things in the world. For some reason, I've always have had difficulty growing it, but my plant under my rose bush is making a miraculous recovery after a harsh Portland winter. I will definitely be making this once there's more than one happy sprig on the plant.

Dina Avila

What a spot-on, beautiful description of tarragon. I'd happily wear it as perfume. I use it in my salad dressings all the time, but I've been so surprised how many people don't like it. It seems almost as divisive as cilantro. Anyway, I'll be making a batch of syrup for myself and my fellow tarragon lovers, and I can't wait to try it with gin.

Danielle

If I had fresh grapefruits, how would you recommend I intergrate them into this recipe. Should I use the juice in the syrup or just use fresh grapefruit at the end?

HS: Hi Joe - I would add fresh juice to your soda, and maybe a bit of zest to the simple syrup. Enjoy!

Joe So

Sounds lovely! Do you think it could be made with honey as well? And will the procedure be the same? Thanks :)

Elisenda

What a great idea to use up tarragon—I love the herb but never use the whole bundle in time. I'm glad I enjoy the licorice scent, it's so unique and interesting. I will definitely be making a grapefruit tarragon soda. I have a tarragon mustard that is a nice change from the usual. Interesting that you don't often buy parsley. I'm the same, and I think it's because it tastes much stranger to me than tarragon!

Court

I have a big pot of tarragon outside my kitchen door. I just made this and it is heavenly. Thanks for the great tip!

Arlene W

Lavender is a great herb to use this way too! I love a bit o' lavender syrup in my coffee.

Liz

I love this idea! I make a similar version with blueberries and basil :)

Alex

This makes me think of a burnt sugar lavender sauce that I was taught by a chef who used it on planked salmon. I have since tried it on a number of things including tapioca pudding!
You just carmelize a cup of sugar in a saucepan and add water to that......I think around a cup or so bring to a boil and turn off. Then steep organic lavender buds in the warm liquid for about 15 minutes and strain. Store in the fridge or decorate bottles with lavender stems for your friends.

Nina

Tarragon soda is a thing in the republic of Georgia (not the state). It's called tarkhun and it's wonderful. There are some sickly sweet, iridescent green commercial versions, but there are also smaller producers that have a truer tarragon flavor.

joy

I love that you always encourage the use of common ingredients in uncommon ways, Heidi! We have made syrups from citrus peels and basil and lavender before, but tarragon was always a savory ingredient in my mind. No fresh tarragon where we're living here in Mexico, but we have cilantro coming out of our ears, so we used that instead. It was a deliciously refreshing surprise in a sweet beverage!!! So far, we've sipped our cilantro syrup in sparkling and flat water, sweetened with brown sugar and a local honey, and even added it to our limeades and our avocado shakes, all with fantastic results. Next up, a test on the compatibility of this syrup with piloncillo, or mangoes, or coconuts, or . . . .

HS: Love this Karen! :) xx

~karen

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