This Earl Grey Vodka Cocktail mixes tea-infused vodka with cranberry juice, lemon juice, and smashed basil for a simultaneously refreshing and warming drink.
I love tea. And I love cheese. But would I love cheese tea? Like, what?? I dunno, you guys, but apparently this thing called cheese tea exists and is set to become the next big thing. In fact, maybe you guys are all like “yeah duh, cheese tea. Old news, Sues” as I am sometimes a litttle out of the loop on pop culture-y things, unless they have to do with The Bachelor franchise or the newest books from my favorite authors (FYI Liane Moriarty’s next novel is a bit delayed because she just finished the story for the second season of Big Little Lies!). Anyway, back to cheese tea. Apparently, it’s tea with a cream cheese/condensed milk mixture frothed in. OK, when you put it that way, it actually sounds quite delicious. But I really feel like cheese tea needs a new PR team and a name change ASAP. There’s just gotta be a better way to say that.
In any event, I prefer my tea with vodka. If you’ve never tried steeping tea in vodka, I highly recommend you do so ASAP. There’s just something so perfect about tea and alcohol and also something a little naughty about it. Tea is so prim and proper and making it alcoholic just feels so wrong. But also so, so right. I got the idea for this Earl Grey Vodka Cocktail from a drink I had this summer at The Poynt in Newburyport, MA. I was intrigued by the ingredients in The Howlin’ Wolf: Earl Grey Infused Ketel One Vodka, Smacked Basil, Kumquat Syrup, Lemon & Cranberry Juice. I ordered it and it was perfection and I decided I need to replicate it at home ASAP.
I actually did make my own version of it right away, but when I went to post about it, I realized I never actually wrote down the recipe. Which was the perfect excuse to make some more tea-infused vodka and enjoy this cocktail again. Life is hard!
I’m a big tea drinker and have about a million different kinds in my cabinet. But I can’t say enough wonderful things about Harney & Sons. I feel in love with them for their Hot Cinnamon Spice, but stuck around for their Peppermint Herbal and Earl Grey Supreme. Their little sachets just make me happy.
First things first, I infused the vodka. I simply poured a cup of vodka into a jar and added one Earl Grey tea bag. I let it steep overnight before removing the tea bag.
Then I made the cocktail! I couldn’t find kumquats (sometimes my grocery store has them and sometimes they don’t), so I skipped the kumquat syrup, but incorporated muddled basil, lemon, and cranberry juice into the cocktail.
I was a little skeptical of mixing tea-infused vodka and cranberry juice, but it worked! Both the Earl Grey and the cranberry juice are a little bit bitter, but the simple syrup adds a little sweetness to lighten things up.
Hot tea is one of my winter drinks of choice, but when I’m in need of a wintertime cocktail, I’m turning on the fireplace and sipping on an Earl Grey Vodka Cocktail. I feel like this is the perfect any-season cocktail, but the flavors of Earl Grey always feel very wintry to me.
So, would I add cheese to it? I mean, I’d try anything once and I admit that cream cheese and condensed milk mixed together probably is quite delicious stirred into tea. But I might have to change the name to get myself to take that first sip. What about you?
Oh, and if you’re looking for a winter tea cocktail that’s hot, try this English Rose Cocktail — it’s made with rosebud-infused vodka, crushed pink peppercorns, and Earl Grey tea.
Earl Grey Vodka Cocktail
- 4 basil leaves
- 2 oz. Earl Grey-infused vodka (recipe below)
- 1 1/2 oz. cranberry juice
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
Earl Grey-Infused Vodka
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 Earl Grey tea bag
- Muddle 3 basil leaves in the bottom of a glass. Fill glass with ice.
- In an ice-filled shaker, add vodka, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well.
- Pour cocktail into prepared glass and top with additional basil leaf and lemon wedge for garnish.
Earl Grey-Infused Vodka
- Pour vodka into a mason jar. Add tea bag. Let sit for 6-8 hours. Remove tea bag.