Smoked Earl Grey Tea Cocktail
A few weeks back, I was chatting with a friend of mine, John-Paul, who owns a really cool tea company and promised him I’d come up with an interesting tea cocktail. This smoked earl grey tea cocktail was the result and is a delicious combination of smokiness, citrus and ginger that works for both guys and gals.
John-Paul runs Tavalon, a tea company he founded about 5 years ago when an “aha” moment in London inspired him to forge a new face for tea in America. Their teas are incredible, yes, because they have a tea sommelier who travels all over the world sampling different teas, buy directly from tea farms, only source “premium” loose teas, and use numerous focus groups to test their over 80 blends (which they blend here in NJ). But, beyond that, their teas are really flavorful, fun, lifestyle-oriented and, like here, work wonderfully with a little booze!
I have to admit – I am completely addicted to Tavalon’s Smoked Earl Grey Reserve Tea. It’s incredibly complex, woodsy with citrusy floral notes. I’ve been drinking it nonstop. When I was coming up with this recipe, I wanted something that wasn’t too sweet and really highlighted the tea flavor rather than masking it with a heavy alcohol flavor. This Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur I picked up (yes, because Oprah said to) worked perfectly. The cognac base blends seamlessly with the smokiness of the tea, and the ginger is delicate enough to compliment it without taking over. I’m ginger-light with my cooking precisely because it so easily can overpower. Not here. The lemon juice provides the perfect tangy balance, and using a lemon sugar on the rim provides just the right amount of sweetness. This is a seriously good cocktail and will definitely be served at my next dinner party – enjoy!
3 ounces cold, brewed smoked earl grey tea
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
In a small bowl, add sugar and as much lemon zest as you desire. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a plate. Rub the ½ lemon along the rim of a rocks glass. Dip glass face down into lemon sugar to create an even coating along the rim.
To the glass, add cold, brewed smoked earl grey tea, lemon juice, and ginger liqueur. Stir to combine and add a few ice cubes.