Today is the first day of Spring and I’m marking the occasion with a little help from my friends at Sipsmith who generously gifted me this bottle of their London Dry Gin, a couple of Fever Tree tonics and their SIP 100 Gin Cocktails With Only 3 Ingredients book.
I wanted to feature a cocktail that tasted like Spring in a glass and when I stumbled across the Earl Grey Sour recipe from the SIP book, I knew I’d found just the ticket.
I’m a BIG fan of using tea in cocktails. I made the Boston Tea Party with an earl grey syrup, which I then repurposed in my classic Lemon Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes to great effect. I made the Red-Nosed Nightcap with chilled hibiscus tea, and have used chai tea in my Chai Eggnog Cheer and Orange Chai recipes.
This, however, is the first time I’ve used tea to infuse the base spirit – as opposed to using it to flavour a syrup or using chilled/hot tea in the recipe itself.
The bergamot flavour of the Earl Grey tea pairs beautifully with the notes of citrus and refreshing juniper in the Sipsmith London Dry Gin. When combined with lemon juice, simple syrup and an egg white – this cocktail really sings.
It’s exceptionally easy drinking, has a glorious velvety mouthfeel thanks to the frothed egg white, and tastes like the best damn cuppa you’ve ever had.
The other great thing about this recipe is that no advanced techniques are required. Simply steep a single Earl Grey tea bag in one cup (250 mL/8 oz) of Sipsmith London Dry Gin, let it sit for an hour. Once the hour is up, be sure to remove the tea bag so the infusion doesn’t become bitter. The infusion will keep in your fridge for ages – but I doubt it will last long after you’ve sampled the goods.
As we’re cooped up more than we normally would be on the first day of Spring, I’m trying to channel the energy of the season into my home, onto my plate, and into my spirit. This cocktail is hitting all the right notes on the palate, this beautiful floral arrangement from Bloomfields (who is still doing deliveries and pick-ups) is bringing a bit of the glory of the season into my space, and the creative energy I’m putting into my nightly Virtual Happy Hour is bringing me a lot of joy.
Here’s hoping that you are keeping well and that this little tipple gets you into the spirit of Spring. Cheers!
Recipe from: Sipsmith London. SIP 100 Gin Cocktails with only 3 ingredients. London: Mitchell Beazley, 2019.