A tarragon gimlet is the perfect transitional cocktail to fall flavors. It combines the airiness of a summer cocktail with the bold herb flavors of fall. Tarragon is an herb that has licorice-like flavor, so if this is your speed, then the tarragon gimlet is the cocktail for you!
What is Tarragon?
Tarragon is a culinary herb known for its aromatic leaves and unique flavor. It belongs to the Artemisia genus and is primarily used in French cuisine, although it’s also found in other culinary traditions.
Tarragon is typically used fresh, but it can also be dried or used in its dried form. We used dried tarragon for the simple syrup in our tarragon gimlet.
Tarragon is known for its distinct flavor, which can enhance the taste of various dishes such as salads, dressings, marinades, and sauces. It is widely used in French cuisine, where it is a key ingredient in many classic recipes.
Tarragon has a distinctive and complex flavor profile similar to licorice’s flavor. Its taste can be somewhat similar to fennel or basil, but it is unique in its combination of flavors. Here are some key flavor characteristics of tarragon:
- Sweetness: Tarragon has a natural sweetness that sets it apart from many other herbs. This sweetness can be quite pronounced, especially in French tarragon, which is the most prized culinary variety.
- Anise-like: Tarragon’s flavor is often likened to that of anise or licorice. It has a mild, pleasant licorice undertone that adds depth to dishes.
- Herbaceous: Tarragon’s taste is herbal and slightly grassy, contributing freshness to recipes.
- Mild Bitterness: Some varieties of tarragon may have a mild bitterness, which can vary depending on the specific type and growing conditions.
Tarragon is highly valued in the culinary industry for its distinct blend of sweetness, anise-like undertones, and herbal characteristics. It is commonly used in French cuisine for sauces, dressings, and poultry dishes, as it adds depth and complexity to the flavor, as well as in cocktails like the tarragon gimlet!
What is a Gimlet?
A gimlet is a very simple cocktail using the spirit, gin. There are two main versions of a gimlet- the original and the French Gimlet. Both are delicious in their own ways! For the tarragon gimlet, we tweaked the classic version.
The original gimlet is a classic cocktail with a simple and refreshing composition. It typically consists of just two main ingredients: gin and lime juice, with the addition simple syrup. The gimlet is known for its bright and zesty citrus flavor from the lime juice, which is balanced by the botanicals of the gin. Some variations of the gimlet may also use vodka instead of gin, but the classic version is made with gin.
A French gimlet is very similar, just with the addition of elderflower liqueur. Elderflower liqueur is a sweet and aromatic liqueur made from the blossoms of the elderflower plant. These tiny white flowers have a delicate, floral, and slightly fruity aroma. Elderflower liqueur is known for its light, fragrant, and somewhat sweet flavor with hints of pear, citrus, and lychee. The French gimlet combines gin, lime juice, and elderflower instead of simple syrup!
We have also made French gimlets with a touch of lavender simple syrup using our lavender smoke dust and it is delicious!
Tarragon Gimlet Smoked with Lemon Peel
To make the Tarragon gimlet, we have to first make the simple syrup! We used 2 tablespoons of dried tarragon leaves. You can purchase these in the spice aisle of any grocery store! We combined our normal 1 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar with the tarragon in a pot over medium-high heat. Let it come to a slight boil, then reduce the heat until combined. Let cool, then double-strain into a container. There may be some small pieces of tarragon spice left, but don’t worry about that!
Next, combine your gin, lime juice, and tarragon simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a coupe glass. Then, it’s time to brighten up the citrus flavors with some lemon peel smoke dust. Hit it with some smoke and a delicious cocktail will be ready for you!
- 1 Cocktail Shaker & Strainer
- 1 jigger
- 1 Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker
- 1 Torch
- 1.5 oz gin
- 1 oz tarragon simple syrup 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 2 tbsp dried tarragon
- 1 oz lime juice
Garnish & Smoke
- 1 pinch Lemon Peel Smoke Dust
- 2 lime slice
- Make simple syrup- Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of dried tarragon leaves in a pot on medium-high heat. Let come together for about 10 minutes, let cool, and double-strain into a container.
- Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into coupe glass.
Garnish & Smoke
- Smoke with Lemon Peel and garnish!