Taste Test: Tarkhun, aka Tarragon Soda

Posted by A69143a5 tiny Jen on apr 8, 2014 under Blog Post

We picked up a bottle of tarkhun, or tarragon soda, while shopping in Brighton Beach the other day--I couldn't resist the color, an incredibly bright shade of green that manages to mimic the color of grass while appearing  unnatural when captured in a glass bottle. I loved it and couldn't wait to give it a try.

In contrast to the intense color, the flavor of the soda is pleasantly understated. We all picked up on the vaguely licorice flavor and the light, herbal smell of tarragon, but it didn't come on too strong, which was actually kind of nice. Three of the four of us thought it was pretty good, if kind of unremarkable, while our fourth drinker loved it and drank the rest of the bottle in a couple minutes. 

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A look at the label shows there's also some vanilla vanilla flavoring added in addition to the tarragon extract, along with some blue and yellow coloring in order to get that awesome color. 

Tarkhun was invented by a Georgian pharmacist in 1887, but didn't appear commercially until 1981, when it became very popular in the former Soviet Union. Tarragon has long been used to treat digestive issues, so you're welcome to think of this soda as medicine rather than a delicious sugary drink. 

If you're looking to DIY your own version, check out this recipe from Food Perestroika. Be warned though that without the addition of food coloring, you'll probably end up with a more yellow syrup. Let us know how it turns out! 

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