Earl Grey Gin & Tonic

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I previously made Earl Grey infused gin which I’ve used to make one or two martinis.

However, for a highly refreshing (and less alcoholic alternative) I would also recommend this infused drink for a nice gin and tonic (yes, I drink tonic water sometimes). Right now it’s in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere but if you’re in Australia, Chile, South Africa, the tropics, the equatorial regions or anywhere else currently enjoying warming weather this might be a nice drink to enjoy at the end of the day.

Otherwise you can wait until spring and summer if you’re in the northern latitudes, although so long as you’re wearing enough warm clothing it’s quite a nice drink for any time of year

If you keep the gin and the glass in the freezer prior to drinking this it will be even more refreshing.

* Take the glass and add some ice.
* Squeeze a slice of lemon peel over the inside of the glass so that the lemon oil is sprayed in over the ice
* Pour in a measure or two of the Earl Grey Gin
* Top up with tonic to your taste
* Use the lemon peel to stir the drink then drop it in the glass as a garnish
* As an alternative garnish to lemon, you could use a slice of fresh cucumber. It gives the drink a fresh grassy start, which is followed by the longer, slower more subtle arrival of the smoky earl grey flavour.

The Lemon Iced Tea Martini with Foam

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While I first made this during the winter, I think it will make a better summer cocktail. It involves a similar preparation technique to the Lemon Drop Martini with Foam but uses Earl Grey infused gin as an additional ingredient.

Leave out the egg white and the frothing process in this recipe if you want a simpler drink. For two martinis you will need:

* The juice of 1 lemon
* The white of 1 egg
* Sugar
* Sweet Vermouth
* Earl Grey infused gin
* Standard gin or vodka
* Chilled martini glasses

– Pour the lemon juice and 2 measures of vermouth into a large cup
– Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir until dissolved
– Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the egg white
– Beat well until the mixture is thoroughly blended and a thick, velvety foam has formed on top of the liquid
– Rim the martini glasses with sugar
– Using a spoon or fork to hold back the foam, pour the liquid into the martini glasses, about half way up.
– Fill up the rest of the glasses with a half-and-half mixture of Earl Grey infused gin and standard gin or vodka, leaving a space of around 3-5mm at the top of the glass. Lightly stir the mixture.
– Pour over the foam until it has covered the top of the drink and reached the rim of the glass

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– If you like, you can sprinkle some grated lemon rind over the top of the foam to add even more zest, although I preferred it without.

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Earl Grey infused gin

I’ve been wanting to do this one for a while, but I have to admit it’s been a bit of a challenge. But I take heart that even Heston Blumenthal has been having difficulties with the concoction, so I have persevered.

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In theory, the delicate citrus tones of this tea should go perfectly with a gin martini, garnished with a freshly peeled strip of lemon, but it has taken several attempts and there’s a real risk of over-brewing the gin, which will make it taste bitter.

Use 1 teabag for every 100ml of gin you intend to produce.

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I used 2 teabags and added them to a jar, then filled it with gin.

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Give it a shake then leave it to stand for around 40 minutes.

Don’t leave it too long or the gin will impart a taste of tannin.

Remove the tea bags (squeeze the last of the gin out) and discard. Transfer the gin to the freezer and chill until it’s time to serve.

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As I said, this one was quite a difficult one to put together and took quite a bit of experimenting.

When completed, serve as a normal martini, with one measure of sweet vermouth and 4-6 measures of earl grey gin (or to taste).

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The finished product was zesty and smoky, with a touch of bitterness counteracted by the sweetness of the vermouth.