I’m really into tea-infused simple syrups these days. Earl Grey tea is my go-to caffeine source to start my day and ready me for human interaction. I figured, if Earl Grey helps prepare me for socialization in the morning, combining it with alcohol could only serve to compound its effects as a miracle-working social lubricant.
I first encountered Earl Grey simple syrup in a divine cocktail concoction at Chuck Hughes’ lauded Montreal restaurant, Le Bremner, a few years ago and fell in love at first sip.
The Earl Grey simple syrup only takes a few minutes to whip up and it gives this cocktail some delicious complexity. The Italian bergamot oil that flavours Sloane’s Earl Grey tea is what gives this black tea its distinctive linger – a touch of floral, a hint of bitterness and a nice balance of sweet and sour.
QUICK HIT OF BERGAMOT TRIVIA: Bergamot is a kind of inedible citrus fruit that suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. It’s often called a “bergamot orange” but looks more like a lemon. It was originally grown in South East Asia but has since migrated to Southern Italy where it is commercially grown.
The bergamot tree blossoms in winter and is harvested for the skin of the fruit. The skin is then cold pressed for its oils, flavours and scents – you can often catch a whiff of it in your favourite perfumes.
The beguiling nature of bergamot is a perfect compliment to the punchy grapefruit in this this cocktail. The bourbon plays off the malty richness of the black tea. A couple of dashes of Bittermens Boston Bittahs keeps it real and tones down the sweetness. The egg white makes for some frothy goodness that will leave your drink looking EXACTLY like a hot cuppa milky tea.
- 1 ½ oz bourbon
- ½ oz Giffard's Crème de Pamplemousse liqueur
- ½ oz pink grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
- ½ oz Earl Grey simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- 2 drops Bittermens Boston bittahs
- 1 cup water
- 4 tbsp Sloane loose leaf Earl Grey tea or 4 Earl Grey teabags
- 1 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, strain into a coupe glass. Serve immediately.
Add water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add loose leaf tea or teabags and let simmer for 5 minutes until the tea has fully steeped. Remove teabags or strain out tea leaves.
Add sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is fully dissolved. Let cool to room temperature before using. Simple syrup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks.