Tarragon Lemonade

Serves 6
Simple syrup is an awesome way to customize your own cocktail flavors. The syrup, usually equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves, readily absorbs the flavor of any ingredient steeped in it. There’s something special about the combo of lemon and tarragon here. Without any alcohol, it’s a great “soft” cocktail to serve; gin makes it “hard.”


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 sprigs tarragon, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice, about 10-12 lemons
  • Ice
  • 12 ounces gin, optional


  1. Combine the sugar with 1 cup water and 6 sprigs tarragon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large pitcher, combine lemon juice, tarragon-sugar syrup, and 3 cups of cold water. Fill pitcher with ice until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, fill glasses with ice. Pour a shot of gin over the ice, if using. Fill with lemonade and garnish with a tarragon sprig.
cook's note
Every summer, I experiment with different flavored simple syrups and other ingredients to devise a new cocktail. Just as in my cooking, I think about different ways to combine flavors and spirits, balancing sour, sweet, spicy, and salty. Stylized simple syrups are experimental and fun— an all-in-one way to infuse taste and sweeten the drink.
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list: