My favourite tea of all time is probably Bird and Blend's Earl Grey Creme, so when I first found Earl Grey infused Gin, at the excellent Cahoots cocktail bar in London, I wondered how it was created. Of course, the internet provides, and after looking at a couple of different recipes, I found The Gin Queen had a simple and straightforward option. Her recipe is here, and I used it as the basis for mine.
Recipe and Method
The Gin Queen advises:
500ml dry London gin
4 tbsp of loose leaf earl grey tea
I scaled these quantities down, as I wanted to start with a smaller batch, and I also wanted to use a container able to hold one of my tea infusers.
Pop the loose leaf tea directly into the gin, or use an infuser, and pour the gin over the leaves.
Let the tea infuse for 3-4 hours, the longer, the stronger. I allowed about three hours for this first batch, and it seems just right to my tastes.
Decant the gin, straining and discarding the leaves, or remove the infuser, and bottle!
If I was making this as a gift (and I knew a few people who'd enjoy a little Earl Grey Infused Gin!) I'd definitely decant it into some nice bottles, as the jam jar does look a little like a medical sample...
There are recipes which use teabags, but I suspect that loose leave gives a more rounded flavour - just as when brewing tea. If you want to use teabags, think carefully before opening up the bags, as bagged tea is more ground and cut, and will be much harder to strain from the gin.
How to drink (well, how I drink it!)
I enjoy my own Earl Grey Infused Gin very simply, with tonic water, a little lemon, and a couple of chunks of ice. It's a very light, refreshing and sophisticated tasting end to a warm summer day.
For fancier evenings, I add a dash of elderflower syrup, or drop in a couple of lavender stems.
My suspicion is that even with summer gone the odd earl grey gin and tonic will still feature, as the rich fragrance and bergamot will make it a luxurious drink through autumn and winter too!
Are you a fellow tea lover?...
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