Just when you think the well of creativity for mixed alcoholic drinks has run dry, someone comes up with another unique concoction like the Earl Grey Martini. Although the concept of mixing tea with gin may seem odd, the drink is surprisingly tasty and refreshing.
The Inventor and Her Unusual Cocktail
Audrey Saunders, owner of the Pegu Club in New York City and former bartender at Bemelmans Bar in New York's Carlyle Hotel, invented the recipe for the Earl Grey Martini. Audrey is famous for creating new cocktails that include non-traditional ingredients mixed in proportions that delight the palate.
The key ingredient in this cocktail is the tea-infused gin, and you can easily infuse your favorite gin yourself by following the directions that follow the recipe below. The infused gin is mixed with lemon juice and sugar, shaken with an egg white and topped off with a delicate grating of lemon zest. The first step is making the infused gin.
Earl Grey Martini Recipe
This is Audrey Saunders' original recipe, including the whimsical spelling for the drink. Other versions are available, but the ingredients are fairly standard in all of them. The recommended brand of gin frequently varies, but is usually a quality label like Tanqueray, Beefeaters, Bombay Sapphire or Boodles, all of which are known for smoothness and high proofs.
Audrey's Earl Grey MarTEAni
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup (1:1 sugar-to-water ratio)
- 1 1/2 ounces Earl Grey tea-infused Tanqueray gin
- 1 egg white
- Lemon twist for garnish
- Coarse sugar to rim the glass
- Moisten the rim of a chilled martini glass with lemon juice and turn it upside down in a saucer of coarse sugar to rim the glass.
- Place the lemon juice, simple syrup, infused gin and egg white into a lidded glass or cocktail shaker, add a few cubes of ice and shake vigorously for ten to fifteen seconds.
- Strain into the prepared glass and garnish with the lemon twist.
Green Tea-Infused Gin
- One 750 ml bottle of Tanqueray gin (Feel free to substitute your own favorite gin.)
- 4 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves
- Carefully measure the tea leaves and feed them through the neck of the gin bottle.
- Cap the bottle and shake to mix.
- Let the gin sit at room temperature for a minimum of two hours.
- Strain the gin to remove the tea leaves, thoroughly rinse the bottle to remove the tea debris and pour the infused gin back into the bottle.
- The infusion will last indefinitely if kept refrigerated.
Note: If you are squeamish about consuming raw egg whites, eliminate them from the recipe. They add a nice visual touch, but they do not affect the flavor of the cocktail.
Learn from This Martini and Create Your Own Infusion Cocktails
If you are intrigued by this recipe and others that use infused alcohol, experiment with your favorite flavors to create your own special blends. Use various types of tea leaves or soak some roasted coffee beans in different types of liquor. Incorporate them with complementary flavors to craft unique cocktails that will have your party guests pondering what that distinctive and delicious taste is that they discern in their drinks. Who knows, you may just start a craze bigger than the Earl Grey martini.