Earl Grey is a consummate breakfast beverage as well as an essential part of tea time. And while it’s usually served hot, often with cream or sugar, sometimes it’s even better served chilled and in a cocktail glass with gin.
This twist on the Gin Sour comes by way of one of the pioneers of the modern cocktail movement, Audrey Saunders of New York City’s famed and influential Pegu Club. In the cocktail, Earl Grey tea lends its bergamot and tannins to gin's botanicals for a drink that’s complex and layered.
In the Earl Grey Marteani, Saunders uses Tanqueray gin. A widely available and popular product, Tanqueray is often seen as an exemplar of the London dry style. It also lends itself well to infusing, as its relatively high percentage of alcohol (the gin is 94.6 proof) means infusions require less steeping time. Of course, if you prefer another gin in your Gin Sour, use that. A navy-strength gin will be an even faster infusion, and a more traditional 80-proof gin will definitely work, too.
Infusing with black tea lends additional bitterness in the form of tannins, the chemical compound responsible for bitterness in tea, red wine and even the oak barrels in which some spirits are aged. To mellow the acerbic bite of the gin and tea, this drink is best when made with egg whites, which add a silky mouthfeel and richness. If you are avoiding egg whites, you can achieve a similar result with aquafaba, a popular vegan alternative using the liquid from cooking or canning chickpeas.
- 1 1/2 ounces Earl Grey tea-infused gin*
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Garnish: sugar rim
- Garnish: lemon twist
Use sugar to half-rim a coupe glass and set aside.
Add the tea-infused gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white to a shaker without ice and dry-shake vigorously (at least 10 seconds).
Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
Strain into the prepared coupe.
Garnish with a lemon twist.
*Earl Grey tea-infused gin: Add 4 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves into a 750 mL bottle of Tanqueray gin (or other high-proof dry gin), cap and shake. Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours. Strain the infused gin through a coffee filter into a separate container. Rinse bottle to remove loose tea, and pour gin back into clean bottle. Can be stored indefinitely if refrigerated.
RAW EGG WARNING
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.