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Tarragon Lemonade: The Georgian National Drink

If you're planning a trip to Georgia, you'll soon discover that the country has a rich culinary tradition. Georgian cuisine is a blend of flavors from the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Europe, and it's known for its bold and spicy dishes. But did you know that Georgia also has a national drink? It's called tarragon lemonade, and it's a refreshing and unique beverage that you won't find anywhere else in the world.

What is Tarragon Lemonade?

Tarragon lemonade is a sweet and sour drink that's made with fresh tarragon, lemons, and sugar. It's a popular summer drink in Georgia, and you'll find it everywhere from street vendors to high-end restaurants. The drink is typically served over ice, and it's a perfect way to cool down on a hot day.

Tarragon is a herb that's native to Central Asia and Siberia. It has a delicate flavor that's slightly sweet and anise-like. The herb is used in many cuisines around the world, but it's particularly popular in Georgian cuisine. In fact, tarragon is one of the key ingredients in many Georgian dishes, including chakhokhbili (a chicken stew), kharcho (a beef soup), and lobio (a bean dish).

The History of Tarragon Lemonade

Tarragon lemonade has been a popular drink in Georgia for over a century. The drink was first introduced by French settlers in the late 19th century, who brought the herb tarragon with them. Tarragon quickly became a staple in Georgian cuisine, and it wasn't long before someone had the idea to combine it with lemonade.

Over the years, tarragon lemonade has become an integral part of Georgian culture. It's served at weddings, festivals, and other celebrations, and it's a drink that's loved by people of all ages.

How to Make Tarragon Lemonade

Making tarragon lemonade is easy, and you don't need any special equipment. Here's a recipe that you can try at home:


  • 1 bunch of fresh tarragon
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 cups of water
  • Ice


  1. Wash the tarragon and remove the leaves from the stems.
  2. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a pitcher.
  3. Add the tarragon leaves to the pitcher.
  4. In a separate pot, bring the water to a boil.
  5. Add the sugar to the boiling water and stir until it dissolves.
  6. Pour the sugar water into the pitcher with the tarragon and lemon juice.
  7. Stir the mixture well and let it cool.
  8. Once the mixture has cooled, strain out the tarragon leaves.
  9. Serve the lemonade over ice.

Where to Find Tarragon Lemonade in Georgia

If you're visiting Georgia, you won't have any trouble finding tarragon lemonade. The drink is sold at street vendors, cafes, and restaurants throughout the country. If you're in Tbilisi, head to the old town, where you'll find plenty of places that serve tarragon lemonade.

One of the best places to try tarragon lemonade is at a traditional Georgian restaurant. Many of these restaurants serve the drink in a traditional clay cup called a kantsi, which adds an extra layer of flavor to the drink.

Why You Should Try Tarragon Lemonade

Tarragon lemonade is more than just a refreshing drink. It's a symbol of Georgian culture and history. When you drink tarragon lemonade, you're experiencing a taste that's been enjoyed by generations of Georgians. You're also getting a glimpse into the country's culinary traditions and the way that different cultures have influenced Georgian cuisine over the years.

But most of all, tarragon lemonade is just plain delicious. The combination of sweet, sour, and herbal flavors is unlike anything else you've ever tasted. So if you're planning a trip to Georgia, make sure to try tarragon lemonade. It's a drink that you won't forget anytime soon.

The Health Benefits of Tarragon Lemonade

Tarragon lemonade not only tastes great, but it also has some health benefits. Tarragon is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause inflammation and other health problems.

Tarragon is also a natural diuretic, which means it can help flush out excess water from your body. This can be helpful if you're feeling bloated or retaining water.

Lemons are also a great source of vitamin C, which can boost your immune system and help protect against colds and other illnesses. Vitamin C is also important for healthy skin and can help reduce the signs of aging.

Other Georgian Drinks to Try

If you're a fan of tarragon lemonade, you'll definitely want to try some of the other traditional Georgian drinks. Here are a few to look out for:

  • Saperavi: This is a red wine that's made from the saperavi grape, which is native to Georgia. The wine is known for its deep, dark color and bold flavor.
  • Chacha: Chacha is a type of brandy that's made from the skins, stems, and seeds of grapes. It's a strong drink that's often served as a digestif.
  • Lagidze Water: Lagidze water is a type of flavored soda that's made with fruit syrups and carbonated water. It was invented by a Georgian pharmacist named Mitrofan Lagidze in the early 20th century.


Tarragon lemonade is a unique and delicious drink that's a must-try if you're visiting Georgia. It's a refreshing way to cool down on a hot day, and it's a great way to experience Georgian culture and history. So the next time you're in Georgia, make sure to order a glass of tarragon lemonade. You won't be disappointed!




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