It's no secret Gin and Earl Grey tea make a great pair. If you are looking for a warming holiday tea drink, look no further – you are going to love this Earl Grey hot toddy with gin. It's easy to make and you can customize it to your taste.
What is a hot toddy?
Hot toddy is an Irish drink, usually made with whiskey, honey, water and lemon. Whiskey can be replaced with other alcohol, such as gin, bourbon, vodka or rum. What makes hot toddy a perfect winter drink is that although it contains alcohol, honey, lemon and water make it lighter and warming. If you love mulled wine or mulled cider, you will love this drink too. Making a hot toddy with tea is not a novelty, though. Tea, especially Earl Grey, is actually a common ingredient in hot toddies.
Ingredients for making an Earl Grey Hot Toddy with gin
To make an Earl Grey hot toddy, you will need 5 ingredients:
- Earl Grey tea – you can use both loose leaf tea and tea bags, but choose tea that is still fresh and aromatic. Don't over-brew it to avoid bitterness.
- Honey – regular light honey will be great, but experiment with different types if you wish.
- Fresh lemon – you will need up to 1/4 of a whole lemon per serving, and optionally a slice more to garnish your drink
- Gin – use quality original gin without added colourings or flavourings.
- Water – always boil fresh water.
Can I make Earl Grey hot toddy without alcohol?
Yes, you can. Although it won't taste quite the same. To make it as close to the original as possible, you can use gin, rum or whiskey food flavourings. They don't contain any alcohol but will make your hot toddy different from a regular cup of hot tea with lemon and honey.
Which tea is the best for making a hot toddy?
Earl grey is one of the best teas to use. It has a citrusy aromatic flavour that blend well with many ingredients. You can also use a slightly spiced black tea, or chai, especially if you are making it with whiskey. Choose teas that are flavourful and would go well with other ingredients you are using. Classic hot toddy is often made with cinnamon and some other spices and herbs such as cloves, ginger, or thyme.
You can try:
- herbs and zesty ingredients with more neutrally flavoured alcohol, such as vodka or gin
- spices that add warming notes with whiskey, bourbon and rum
- apple black tea blends or pure black tea with bourbon, rum and whiskey, especially if you are not adding other ingredients
- fresher citrusy, lemon black tea or orange black tea blends and earl grey teas with vodka and gin
Can I use other sweeteners?
Whichever drink or tea you are making, the final flavour will be a sum of all ingredients. That means even the choice of a sweetener will make a difference. Traditionally, honey is used for sweetening a hot toddy, but the second-best choice is light brown sugar. Both honey and brown sugar have a more complex flavour than regular white granulated sugar. However, you can use a calorie free sugar alternative too, although some may have a distinctive flavour.
Earl Grey Hot Toddy with Gin Recipe
- Measuring cup
- Teapot or a disposable tea filter
- 170 ml of water
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- 4 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of earl grey tea (or 1 tea bag)
- 25 ml of gin
- Measure 1 teaspoon of tea leaves.
- Bring fresh water to a boil.
- Steep tea in 170 ml of water for 5 minutes, covered.
- Strain into a serving glass or cup.
- Add gin, lemon juice and honey and stir until dissolved.
- Serve hot.