Tarragon Gin Mojito
Ever since I was old enough to imbibe, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of culinary cocktails — incorporating flavors and ingredients from the food world in a place you wouldn’t normally expect them, behind the bar.
Seasonal culinary cocktails take it a step further by using fresh ingredients in rotation with the seasons to give a snapshot of what’s growing outside right now. In the next two posts, I’ve created two seasonal culinary cocktails for spring using dill and tarragon. Both of these herbs are light and super fragrant, with lemony notes — perfect for a refreshing break from all the hearty eating and drinking we’ve been doing all winter long.
A friend of mine, Robin, has the most gorgeous greenhouse and was gracious enough to let me clip a few sprigs of her herbs to use in these drinks. While it’s warm enough to start herbs in other parts of the country, it’s still to cold to plant anything in Southern Indiana, without a climate controlled environment. Using her fresh, organic herbs was such a treat, and a welcome alternative to store-bought herbs. But, if that’s all you have access to, that’s totally fine!
In this post is the recipe for a Tarragon Gin Mojito, and in the next post, I’ll share a Dill, Elderflower, and Cucumber Shake-up.
A traditional mojito, as you probably know, is made using rum and mint. This riff, a more herbaceous version, swaps out the liquor for gin (vodka would also work) and the mint for tarragon. The same level of sweetness remains in the drink, but the use of gin gives a more vegetal quality that somehow seems less sweet, which I love. I’m a big fan of gin, but if you’re not, and choose vodka instead, you’ll notice the tarragon even more, as it won’t compete with the other herb essences you’d get from the gin.
Something to keep in mind as you’re making this cocktail is that you muddle the tarragon really well. Make sure you break it up enough so that there are small pieces of tarragon that won’t bother you when you go to take a sip.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe for the mojito!
Tarragon Gin Mojito
.5 oz lime juice
1 bar spoon full of granulated sugar
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
1.5 oz Vodka or gin (I used Tanqueray)
Top with club soda (I used Fever Tree)
Muddle the tarragon in the bottom of a collins glass with the sugar and lime juice. Add ice. Pour in the gin or vodka. Top with club soda. Garnish with tarragon and a lime wedge.