Sophisticated, timeless, and refreshing, a royal tea cocktail fuses together two British classics: Tea and gin. Created in 2007, Beefeater Gin first whipped up the royal tea cocktail in celebration of the movie The Queen and its Oscar win. Today, not only is a royal tea cocktail a delicious and timeless favorite, but it’s also exceptionally easy to make.
How to make your royal tea cocktail
The first thing you need to do before making your cocktail is brew a pot of Earl Grey tea (at least two ounces) and leave it to chill in the fridge. So make sure you give the tea enough time to chill and make it well in advance of when you plan on serving the cocktail. For loose-leaf tea, use a ratio of one teaspoon per one cup of near-boiling water and allow it to steep for around five minutes (although you should stick to your tea’s recommended brewing time). Ideally, the tea should be brewed with hot (not boiling) water, which allows it to release its maximum flavor. When ready, take your chilled tea out of the refrigerator and pour it into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. Add 1 ½ ounces of London dry gin. Lastly, add a splash of lemon juice and teaspoon of sugar to taste. Stir, garnish with a slice of lemon, and serve.
Simple steps for the best cocktail
If you’re able, opt for a gin from a distiller that prioritizes sustainability. For every 70cl bottle of gin, around 2.3kg of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. Sustainable distillers measure their carbon emissions across their operations and implement effective carbon reduction and avoidance projects. Not only does sourcing your gin from a sustainable distiller help you do your bit to address the climate crisis, but it also makes a great-tasting royal tea cocktail. For example, a climate-positive dry gin featuring flavors like juniper, cardamon, rhubarb, and ginger perfectly compliments black tea — particularly Earl Grey with its hint of citrus.
Alternatively, any type of London dry gin works well in this cocktail. Classic London dry gins like Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire heavily feature juniper and a unique pine taste. Keep in mind, however, newer styles of gin (known as New Western Dry Gin) generally don’t feature juniper so strongly; which may or may not be preferable depending on your tastes. Also, feel free to use your preferred sweetener of choice. Honey, for example, is a healthy alternative to sugar. You can also give your cocktail an extra flavor boost by garnishing it with a sprig of fresh lavender or mint. And, lastly, this cocktail has a medium alcohol-by-volume content of 14% — similar to a glass of wine. If you want to lower the ABV, simply add more tea and you’ll still get a great flavor.
A royal tea cocktail is an elegant and refreshing beverage to enjoy sipping throughout the year. Not only is this gin-based iced tea recipe oh so delicious, but it also couldn’t be easier to make – simply mix the ingredients together and serve.