Introduction: Earl Grey Gin

Picture of Earl Grey Gin
A hot drink makes everything better, for me that drink is Earl Grey tea. I'm usually not much of a tea guy, but if someone if offering Earl Grey I simply can't help myself. I've had success infusing vodka a few times with fruit, but wanted to try something a little different this time. Steeping earl grey tea in gin and then adding a sweetener you can easily make your own earl grey gin! 

Want to make your own boozy tea-time? Here's what you need:
  • earl grey teabags
  • gin
  • simple syrup (50:50  sucrose:water)
  • empty glass bottle
  • large pot
  • range
  • funnel
*extra points: serve in a fancy teacup

Start by sterilizing your empty glass bottle and unpacking 3 teabags.

Step 1: Steep Tea in Gin

Picture of Steep Tea in Gin

Estimating only, I added one teabag for every 200ml of gin. Like all tea, tastes will vary based on personal preference. I steeped 3 teabags in about 600ml of gin for 48 hours at room temperature, I like my tea strong and this was perfect. If you're unsure start with a few bags and work your way up.

Make sure to keep the teabag tags outside the bottle and fill the bottle about halfway with gin, then screw the cap on securing the teabags. Slosh around gently to agitate steeping and leave at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

After 48 hours carefully remove teabags.

Step 2: Make Simple Syrup

Picture of Make Simple Syrup

While the tea gin is brewing you can make the simple syrup. A simple syrup is a 50:50 mix of water and any type of sugar. You could use white, brown, yellow, cane, honey, agave..just about any type of sugar can be made into a simple syrup. Each will have their own distinctive taste and viscosity. I used honey.

On a low heat, add water and honey to a pot and simmer until the ingredients are mixed. Let cool.
Using a funnel, pour simple syrup into the empty space of your steeped gin, replace lid and shake to mix the liquids.

Step 3: Earl Grey Cocktail

Picture of Earl Grey Cocktail
Gin starts at about 40% ABV, after adding the simple syrup this mix is about 25-30% ABV.

I decided to have my earl grey gin cocktail served traditionally:
  • 2oz cold earl grey gin in fine teacup
  • serve with container of milk, add as desired 

I also made an earl grey martini: 
  • 3oz earl grey gin in martini shaker
  • add ice
  • shake and pour in martini glass
  • garnish with orange twist



sunshiine (author)2012-09-15

Too bad you can't make the animation show up on the main page. That would be so cool. Or . . . is it possible? Is it possible to do something like that on one's profile? Just curious. I love this instructable!

mikeasaurus (author)sunshiine2012-09-15


Unfortunately animated GIF's aren't supported as the sorting index photo or your profile picture (much to my disappointment)

sunshiine (author)mikeasaurus2012-09-15

Mine also! Thanks for the reply! Cheers!

depotdevoid (author)2012-09-06

But how did it taste!?

mikeasaurus (author)depotdevoid2012-09-06

Splendid, it was the best brewed bergamot ever served in a teacup.

depotdevoid (author)mikeasaurus2012-09-07

That's awesome, as a big fan of both tea and booze I've tried a couple of varieties of store bought tea flavored vodkas. One was kinda blah, and the other was kinda gross. I am going to the liquor store this weekend, I will come home with some gin.

mikeasaurus (author)depotdevoid2012-09-07

I also made some earl grey amber rum too, if you have the funds you should try both. The process on making is the same! You know I want to see your results!

depotdevoid (author)mikeasaurus2012-09-09

Okay okay okay, I admit I had my doubts! Especially after my taste of it yesterday, it was kinda weird and flowery, I wasn't sure about the combination of the gin and earl grey.

However, I cracked it open today and added the syrup, and holy mackerel, it's great! I've now had one Earl Grey Gin with cream, one Earl Grey Gin Martini, and one Earl Grey Rum martini. I admit I am having a slightly difficult time typing this.

My reaction: Delicious!
My girlfriend's reaction: No. No. No.
My roommate's reaction: Wow, those flavors go really well together!

This is great, I think I should have picked up higher quality alcohols than I did. The only other change I think I will make next time is to leave out the sweetener entirely. I drink most teas with sugar, but Earl Grey I drink straight.

Thanks for sharing this! Here's a picture of my Earl Grey Rum Martini in the only martini glass I own. I don't normally like martinis at all, this may be the first time I've really enjoyed one.

I'm now thinking about infusing alcohols with other teas I like. My other favorite tea is Good Earth Original, I may try that out next time!

mikeasaurus (author)depotdevoid2012-09-11

Glad you liked it!

I think your girlfriend might come around, a friend of mine wasn't excited about the first sip but was swigging from the bottle by the end of the night. I think the rum version has more potential to be mixed with other liquids (like juice) than the gin, but maybe I haven't tapped all the potential with the gin yet.

Experimenting with different tea/alcohol varieties/blends means there's an endless combinations to the variety. I'm not done with this recipe yet, I think there's plenty of room for experiments and improvement.

Thanks for trying it out, Ian. Nice Martini glass, by the way!

depotdevoid (author)mikeasaurus2012-09-07

Okay, it's steeping (both gin and rum). I'll report back in a day or two!

dustinandrews (author)2012-09-05

When I make simple syrup with sugar I use 2:1 (by volume) sugar to water. It's crazy, but the sugar all dissolves.

CobaltBlue (author)dustinandrews2012-09-09

Dustin, simple syrup is 1:1 by definition. The way you make it is called double syrup, and for some things it works better than simple syrup.

dustinandrews (author)CobaltBlue2012-09-09

Oh, good to know! I wonder how I learned it wrong?

CobaltBlue (author)dustinandrews2012-09-09

Not everyone is as didactic as I am about terminology. ;)
I am often told, "Don't get so technical!" I just smile.

DIY-Guy (author)CobaltBlue2012-09-10

To the author: Well done! Delicicous concept.

To CobaltBlue:
I am often told, "Don't get so technical!" I just smile.
Do you mind explaining your "I just smile" reaction? I'm often accused of the same technicalness and wonder how you deal with it. What are your internal thoughts when this happens? What is your coping mechanism?

I just started learning to give less details in replies to some people, but it's very unsatisfying.

Sincerely, DIY-Guy

I've worked with sugar and it keeps surprising me how you can dissolve more than 1,5 kg of sugar in 1 kg of water without much trouble. I think it goes up to 2kg of sugar per kg of water if you are willing to put some effort into it :)

saastamo (author)FoolishSage2012-09-06

I work in pharmacy. In our composition book there is syrupus sacchari which contains 63% (by weight) sugar:

Saccharum 630 g
Aqua purificata 370 g
Total 1000 g

To make saturated solution you can dilute about 8 dl sugar in 1 dl of lukewarm water. But no more.

Wazzupdoc (author)saastamo2012-09-09

I had my doctor write me a script for it from your instructions. I didn't have to cook, I had the Pharm.D. do it at the local CVS! ; )

spiritwalker6153 (author)2012-09-10

I am not much of a tea drinker but this I have to try.

Wazzupdoc (author)2012-09-09

I love you recipe! They sweet and fragrant flavors naturally blend.
Here's another one: Mix (steep) Lopsang Souchang tea in Scotch! It's wonderful and needs no sweetener (if you like Scotch). The smoky tea tastes a bit like Scotch anyway, so it's a perfect match. Great while ice-fishing, if you can find some ice(and fish of course).

prickly vegan (author)Wazzupdoc2012-09-10

wow. that sounds delicious. Definiely one to try with Ballantines, not an Islay though! thanks for the idea!

Wazzupdoc (author)prickly vegan2012-09-10

Ballentines is what I use too. I wouldn't put my Laphroig in tea. No, no, no.

razamatraz (author)2012-09-10

Captain Picard would be proud.

spark master (author)2012-09-10

Mike I noticed your pinky finger sticking out at the proper up your nose tilt, is this the waythe proper Englishman sips his gin?

jest a wunder'n. And this I gotta make, really looks fine actually. 1 tea bag for every 6 ounces liquid should do it plus one fer the jug!



Mrscwilson (author)2012-09-09

Could this be made without sugar or honey for the non-sugar-eaters?

gilliana (author)Mrscwilson2012-09-09

You could infuse stevia leaves along with the tea - or add stevia powder or extract.

spark master (author)gilliana2012-09-10

note to the unsuspecting,
Stevia , like canola oil is nice to some and vile to others. before you use it in a bottle of drinkable liquer, taste stevia in a cup of tea first.
And don't throw out the receipt cuz some of us will want our money back.
'A full year before stevia was in regular grocery stores I bought some in a store that would take it back, they did, it was vile. My dad wanted to try it so I bought it and 3 days later returned it. We also found the smell and taste of canola oil to be rather repulsive. This does not mean you will hate it, taste is very subjective, try it you may like it, but remember if it really was that good we would have already been using it a long time ago.

I love this idea and will pass it on to some gin drinkers I know. I am definitely going to try this with "cherry tea" bags. mmmmm with brandy even. Or how about a "lemon zinger gives ya a stinger. mmmmmmm

yep this is a very fine concept, must go to store today and get some ingrediets!!!!

mikeasaurus (author)Mrscwilson2012-09-09

The sugar makes the earl grey gin a little less bitter. You could use less or none at all, depending on your taste. I enjoy the taste of the gin after the tea has steeped, but think the strong taste is something you would work up to.

I'd like to hear your experience if you make some!

prickly vegan (author)2012-09-10

the idea of mixing earl grey with gin is logical. why have I never thought of this? probably because my gin never lasts long enough to experiment with, after I drink my French 75s and Kansas City Ice Waters. dang it. now I'm really thirsty!

Mechenger (author)2012-09-09

I can't decide if this is brilliant or blasphemy........ I guess I'll have to try this to see. :))

Evening Newbs (author)2012-09-09

I've made a Hot Toddy with earl grey, gin, honey, and lemon before, and it was really good. I'm definitely going to try this.

Kinnishian (author)2012-09-09

o.O? Sterilize the container.....of 40%+ abv

But cool instructable! I second that comment about the bar being set so high for instructables. It's nice

Wazzupdoc (author)Kinnishian2012-09-09

Bar? Too high?! :)

Kinnishian (author)Wazzupdoc2012-09-09

I should have said, "it's nice, but intimidating."


jnewquist (author)2012-09-09

I infuse vodka, and make limoncello pretty regularly, and wonder why you chose gin? Is the flavor of gin a component, or does the tea drown it out. I'm also a big earl grey fan, and I'm not imagining how the flavors mingle

mikeasaurus (author)jnewquist2012-09-09

I've tried it with vodka, gin and amber rum, they all have unique flavous. I found the gin has the most complexity in taste, the bergamot blends nicely with the taste of juniper berry and other floral notes.

jnewquist (author)mikeasaurus2012-09-09

Thanks, I'll have to give it a go, and not use Hendricks :)

stephenie (author)2012-09-09

I love gin. I love Earl Grey. I love this concept! But- do you serve it hot? How do you heat it? Or do you add it to a cup of hot tea? Thanks for this brilliant idea- can't wait to try it!

mikeasaurus (author)stephenie2012-09-09

The cocktail shown in the teacup with milk is served at room temperature, but it's also really good over ice.

caityjay (author)2012-09-09

This. This is brilliant. I'm making this. Thank you for sharing your genius.

rippa700 (author)2012-09-09

Brilliant! I'm off to try the traditional way for EG tea. Your Earl Grey Gin and a slice of lemon. This could be my undoing....

spike3579 (author)2012-09-06

Man, your presentation just gets slicker and and slicker.
I appreciate your elevation of the instrucables medium but damn you for raising the bar so high.

mikeasaurus (author)spike35792012-09-06

Thank you

wilgubeast (author)2012-09-06

Were Snoop Doog to be British, he might have consumed this fine beverage. Laid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

dustinandrews (author)2012-09-05

It seems like sterilizing the bottle only to add tea bags might be useless. The 40% alcohol of the gin may or may not be enough to kill microbes in the bottle. Source around the internet vary and I wasn't able to find anything authoritative enough to reference. It may be best to store this tea in the fridge or freezer. You may also want to keep from adding sugar until you are ready to drink, if you like your gin tea sweetened.

The added sugar, and the alcohol will reduce the water availability for microorganisms to grow. Adjusting the pH to below 4.5 will inhibit food borne bacteria. I'm not sure what the pH of tea is or what it will be after adding it to the gin but with everything together Mike probably could have gotten away with just cleaning the bottle instead of sterilizing it and still be safe.

sunshiine (author)2012-09-06

This is the best! I love it!

jessyratfink (author)2012-09-05

Come back now please! We need to have a earl grey cocktail party. This sounds awesome. :D

iceng (author)2012-09-05

Liking the aroma of the Earl's tea soo much that I wanted my engineering
office to smell that way all the time and cut up a box load of Earl Grey tea
leaves and sprinkled them about the room, to no avail as the delightful
aroma was goon the next day :-(

ChrysN (author)iceng2012-09-05

You could buy Bergamot essential oil and use it in a infuser.

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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