Top Pick Of The Week

December 7, 2010

Sub Rosa Tarragon Vodka


Tarragon vodka? Saffron vodka? What may sound unusual is quite exceptional. Photography by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Microdistillery crafted vodka infused with fresh tarragon or saffron.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: The flavors are infused with fresh herbs and dried spices, not created with essential oils.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The flavors are brilliant, an epiphany of how good flavored spirits can be. And perhaps that makes Sub Rosa the best vodkas we’ve ever had.

.Magically-Flavored Vodka From Sub Rosa
Page 2: Tarragon & Saffron Vodka


Tarragon Vodka

Our first sip was of the Sub Rosa Tarragon Vodka. Tarragon lovers: This is an eye-opener. It tastes as if the fresh organic tarragon leaves are floating in the vodka (they aren’t: the spirit is clear although it has a very pale green tint from the infusion).

There’s a touch of fresh mint, which adds complexity and helps to evoke flavors of anise fennel and oregano as well.

There is something startling about drinking the Tarragon Vodka. You don’t expect a glass of vodka to have such garden flavor. Certainly, no vodka cocktail we’ve ever had has rung so true.

Yes, you could use Sub Rosa Tarragon Vodka in a Bloody Mary, a Martini, a Vodka Tonic or even in sweet drinks like an Appletini. The producers  favor a Martini with a piece of lemon peel or a drop of Limoncello lemon liqueur.

But then you’d be missing the joy of drinking it straight, thinking that if Mother Nature opened a distillery, this would be one of her first products.

Saffron Vodka

Just when we thought things couldn’t possibly get better, we tasted Sub Rosa Saffron Vodka, a natural pale gold color. Where Tarragon Vodka is bursting with fresh herb flavor, Saffron Vodka is a different kind of explosion entirely.

As with gin, the Saffron Vodka is distilled with a carefully-planned layering of different botanicals (herbs, flowers, spices).  Here the eight botanicals include anise, coriander, cumin, ginger and peppercorn. But the day belongs to the intense saffron flavor.

As with a superpremium gin or a fine wine, the flavors build as one savors the vodka. Toasted cumin on the nose, lemony coriander on the mid-palate, a hint of ginger, a wee touch of heat and the aromatics of saffron at the end.

The review continues below.


This is Page2 of a two-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages:


Why Saffron Is The Most Expensive Spice In The World

There’s a reason why saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. While anyone with a garden or a window box can grow tarragon, saffron is the dried stigma of a crocus.

The crocus grows easily enough, but there is an enormous amount of labor in harvesting and preparing the stigmas. Plus, 80,000 flowers are needed to create one pound of saffron.

Who Should Drink Sub Rosa Vodka?

You don’t have to be a vodka drinker to love Sub Rosa. You just have to be a person who loves exciting flavors and new discoveries.

Restaurants can thrill their patrons with shots.

  • Tarragon Vodka is terrific with seafood, steaks and other meats, plus vegetarian dishes.
  • Saffron Vodka pairs beautifully with Asian and Indian cuisine.
  • Both are delicious toasting vodkas

It’s time to toast to the distillers for their vision, craftsmanship, and for delivering this experience for just $29.95.

—Karen Hochman

Saffron Vodka & Tarragon Vodka

  • 750 ml Bottle
    90 Proof

Purchase online* at

Sub Rosa Spirits also are sold at fine retailers in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, Colorado, New Mexico and Washington D.C.

*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them.


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Sub Rosa Saffron Vodka.
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