A Royal Tea cocktail, bringing together the British classics of gin and tea into a delicious and refreshing drink. Simply mix togther and serve!
If you grew up in Canada in the 90s, you will likely remember a Sketch tv show called Royal Canadian Air Farce. It was originally a radio show but eventually came to the TV. Essentially it made fun of political and social events in the country, as well as regional stereotypes (those who know ‘Mike from Canmore’ know what I’m talking about). Plus, they had a brilliant invention of the Chicken Cannon. Again, if you’re Canadian you get it. My English husband does not!
One of the more memorable reoccurring gags dealt with the now-deceased queen mother. The basic premise was she was always tipping over in her chair as a result of a bit too much gin.
Now, of course, gin is back being a trendy drink. It’s quite amazing how many gins’ are around in the shops. Which is no bad thing in my books!
So when it came time to come up with a drink for my English afternoon tea menu, I had a choice. Go with the classic options of either tea or champagne, or come up with something a bit new. Taking inspiration from the Queen mum, I combined a couple of British classics into a great iced tea cocktail.
First, we have the tea, and I’ve opted for strong brewed Earl Grey. I love Earl Grey with the bergamot, it feels very British. To this, we add a measure of gin and again have gone a bit traditional with Beefeater gin. To round of the flavour, some fresh lime juice brings the gin and tea together.
The result is a tea cocktail recipe that is fit for the Queen (mum) but also goes great with your afternoon tea sandwiches and scones with cream and jam.
Can I use regular tea in a cocktail?
So there is nothing wrong in trying other teas with this cocktail. However, I would recommend you ensure you brew the tea extra strong and cool before using. This is for two reasons. The first is that hot tea will melt your ice too quickly and overpower the other flavours. Second, if you brew it extra strong, the ice, when it melts won’t dilute the flavour as much.
What type of ice should I use in a cocktail?
While crushed ice looks cool, and does chill your drink down, I don’t like it in my cocktails. This is because the surface area is so high, it melts too quickly and diluted the drink. Instead, I would suggest using a larger ice cube. I’m lucky that my local grocery store has these in the freezer section. However, you can also use a large ice cube tray like this to get the larger cubes. They last longer in your drink, keeping it cold with less dilution.
What can I do if someone doesn’t drink alcohol?
Well, the easiest solution would be to serve them regular tea. If you still want it to be a cocktail, leave the gin out and add a dash more lime juice. You could also look out for an alcohol-free spirit (like Seedlip, which I rather like).
What pairs well with this Royal Iced Tea cocktail?
- I’d suggest checking out the full menu for some good ideas!
- The Classical Kitchen playlist does the trick!
Like this? Try these!
- English Tea sandwiches
- Scones with cream and jam
- Spiked Arnold Palmer – Peanut Butter and Fitness
Royal Iced Tea Cocktail
- 10 oz London dry gin Such as Beefeater
- 2 oz Lime juice
- 6 Earl Grey Tea bags
- 3 cups Boiling water
- 5-6 Mint leaves for garnish
- 6-8 Large ice cubes
- Boil the water and add to the tea bags in a heatproof container. Let it steep for 10min, and then remove the tea bags. Let this concentrated tea cool.
- Add your cooled tea concentrate to a serving pitcher, add the gin and lime juice. Stir. Place ice into the cups and pour over the mixture. As the tea is extra strong, the ice will dilute it so don't skimp! Garnish with mint leaves.
What an intriguing combination! I definitely would love to try it.
David @ Spiced says
Well, I’ll be! What an interesting cocktail idea, Matt. I do love Earl Grey, and you’re right that gin is making a serious comeback…however, I never would’ve thought about combining the two. I love it! Also, that show seems pretty funny. I can’t say I’m familiar with it, but I can imagine you had a great time watching old episodes on YouTube!
Yup, way too much time wasted on youtube as a result of this post!
Pina @ One Two Culinary Stew says
I love tea and I love gin… so this is the perfect cocktail. I agree about the ice!
This cocktail combines two of my favourite things – tea + gin! Great idea!
Thanks Vanessa, it is a great little drink!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
I didn’t grow up in Canada, so I’ve never heard of this cocktail… or the tv show. 😉 Clearly I have been missing out!! This sounds delicious and like the perfect way to celebrate the weekend! Gorgeous photos!!
I wonder if your Canadian Sketch tv show, “Royal Canadian Air Farce” was anything like our political British satirical television puppet show “Spitting Image”? I do also remember Spitting Image portraying the late Queen Mother similarly. Ha ha! I’m a big fan of gin Matt and what you’ve done here in mixing it with one of my favourite teas, Earl Grey” sounds intriguing! Lovely and refreshing!
Haha, and I hear Spitting Image is making a comeback!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
I’ve definitely heard of the show, but not the cocktail! Looks and sounds super refreshing, Matt, especially with the addition of mint. I’ll have to give this one a go next cocktail hour 😉 Cheers!
Bernice Hill says
Mmm! I love cocktails with tea in them, especially when it’s Earl Grey. And yes, I remember the Air Farce!
I enjoy a good gin cocktail, so I’ll have to give this one a try! I also appreciate some 1990s Canadian TV nostalgia since I grew up in the 90s! Pinned!
What a delightful cocktail! And the use of tea is just wonderful, cheers!
Royal Canadian Air Farce was a hilarious show. I love this idea for a cocktail, and can’t wait to try it. We have used iced tea with gin, but this one sounds so much better.
Thanks Colleen, it is delicious!
Alex Bielak says
I’m a Seelip fan and will be trying this with that. Maybe even tonight:-)
Go for it! Let me know how it tastes!
Ros @ ZenHealth says
I love me some Earl grey tea but I never thought of spiking it. Must try this! I wonder if it’ll go well with a good Caribbean rum too… Guess I’ll need to experiment to find out heheh!
Hmmm, give it a try and let me know how it turns out!