Before I met Eric, I wasn’t much of a gin fan. Like most booze-related stories, this was due to a night of excessive consumption back in my college days. There was plenty of mixing, I’m sure… but the big drink from that night was gin. And it didn’t end well. For a while, I couldn’t even stand the smell of it. The scent of juniper berry gave me an instant hangover.
When Eric and I got together, I quickly learned that I needed to get over my aversion to it. In the summer, his family drinks gin and tonics nightly as they watch the sunset over the lake at the Cape house. So, I caved. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love all over again.
I have had the opportunity to sample quite a few different gins over these last few years, both locally produced and from all over the world. There are a number that I am fond of, but the gin that I am head over heels for is Watershed Gin in Columbus Ohio. As stated in the description on their website, juniper notes are layered with hints of citrus and this creates one of the most delicate gins I have ever tasted. If you are at all a gin fan, make friends with someone in Ohio and have them ship you a bottle.
Now that I’ve hyped up this fabulous spirit, let me tell you about this cocktail here, which was created by the folks at The Inn At Honey Run (located in Holmes County), which is where I stayed with a few other food bloggers when we toured Ohio’s Amish Country earlier this year. While the inn originally prepared The Tarragon with Watershed Vodka, I requested Watershed Gin and, I have to say, I think I liked it better this way.
These are irresistibly delicious and after your first one, I can promise you’ll be refilling your cocktail shaker. The tarragon simple syrup adds an additional component that brings the flavors in the gin together.
If you can’t get a bottle of Watershed Gin or Vodka, the simple syrup would be great with any other vodka or gin (heck, it even goes well with tequila). Happy weekend everyone! Cheers!
The Tarragon Cocktail
created at The Inn at Honey Run
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup (infused with fresh tarragon… see directions below for the simple syrup)
2 oz. Watershed Vodka or Gin
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Strain into martini glass.
Garnish with thin lime slice.
For an added touch, also garnish with candied tarragon leaves.
Tarragon Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the tarragon leaves. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Take off heat and let the mixture sit for an additional 10 minutes before straining. Strain the tarragon leaves out of the simple syrup. Let the syrup cool completely before using.
Can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Brian Samuels is Managing Editor at The Boys Club and blogger at A Thought for Food.