It seems like every time I try to go sober, I immediately find some way of making drinking 1000% better than I ever imagined. This is one of those times.
Recipes for mar-tea-nis are fairly easy to find–usually they’re more like a gin sour, with egg white, and not strictly a martini at all, sorry, James. I’ve been drinking this as a simple G&Tea and it works magnificently.
Other flavours of tea could definitely be substituted. For inspiration, check out this article from Ian Cameron.
- Gin (I used Tanqueray)
- Earl grey tea leaves (I used T2)
- Sugar (I used brown)
- Water (I used tap)
- Vanilla extract (I used Queen)
1. It’s handy to have an empty bottle of gin, unless you’re gonna make a whole 700ml of tea gin. Which you might. No judgement. I made about 550mls and, conveniently, I had an empty Tanqueray bottle sitting on my dining table from last time I had gin. There was cat hair on it. I don’t have a cat. Go figure.
2. You’ll also need new gin. Don’t get the nice ones with all the botanicals. Really, the Tanq is a bit on the classy side for this, but at least it doesn’t taste like jet fuel.
3. Add an amount of the gin to a receptacle. Add earl grey leaves. Really, if you make this in a teapot with a built-in strainer, that’s probably the best. Basic tea-making rules apply: one heaped teaspoon of leaves per 250mls, plus one ‘for the pot’ as my good English grandma used to say.
4. Let it steep in a warm-ish place for a while. At least an hour, probably no more than two. If you leave it too long, I have it on good authority that black tea will be too tannic and will go bitter. A bit over an hour worked well, but I used T2 tea leaves which are always super-strong anyway. There is literally nothing stopping you from tasting this as you go, and if you make it in a clear teapot or jug you can watch the colour develop. Don’t freak out too much about the infusing time. It’s all relative, man.
5. While that’s sitting in the corner thinking about what it did, make sugar syrup. Roughly 1:1 proportions of sugar and water. I figured 1/3 cup of water and a couple heaped tablespoons of brown sugar would be appropriate for the amount of gin I was making, because I’m imprecise. Or impulsive. Whatever. Anyway you bring the water to a boil, turn the heat down, stir the sugar through til it’s dissolved, take off the heat and add a couple of drops of vanilla extract (or a more generous amount of vanilla essence, but since you’ve just spent at least $40 on gin, I’ll recommend not skimping on the vanilla).
6. Funnel the syrup into the empty bottle. Strain the gin (even if you used an infuser for the leaves, this is still a good idea), then swirl it in the syrup saucepan just to get the last of the sweet deliciousness and then funnel that in too. If you infused the whole bottle you should have have more than a bottle-worth, because maths. That means you are forced to make a drink for yourself immediately. Good work, you.
7. Your tea gin is now delicious, but warm. Freeze that shit.
8. This is really very good for G&Ts, but you probably want to make them stronger than usual so the tonic doesn’t overwhelm the tea flavour. Or, like, experiment with other mixers I guess.