Heads up people, Vodka is on offer in the big orange shop right now, adding to the festive cheer. I snaffled myself three litres of the stuff with a view to creating some alcohol infused alchemy from the comfort of my own home.
I’ve no doubt mentioned a fair few times that Earl grey tea is my favourite, I simply can’t start the day without a cup. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not suggesting this is the way to start the day, with a glass of tea steeped vodka, I merely propose this would make an excellent gift for the tea lover in your life and would add a new dimension to tea parties as we are in fact in the midst of party season.
Unlike other infused alcohol recipes this is fairly swift to turn around, rather than impatiently waiting for months on end for the booze to infuse I made mine from start to finish in around three hours. This timing includes packaging and of course a little tasting (Which is essential!)
Vodka doesn’t have quite the strength of flavour as other booze, making it an excellent flavour carrier and perfect for infusing. The recipe will also work tremendously with Gin, in fact after earl grey tea, Gin and tonic is my second favourite drink so i’m slightly regretting not including it now. However I did err on the side of caution worrying the strength of flavour in gin would be a step too far. Heston is of course there with the gin already, so i’ll save it for another day.
To make 1 litre of earl grey tea vodka you will need
- stock syrup: 100g caster sugar and 100ml water
- 1 litre of Vodka (or Gin)
- 4 earl grey tea bags
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom
- A clean, sterilised 1.5 to 2 litre capacity container with a tight fitting lid
- Clean, sterilised bottles to decant the infused vodka into
Begin by making the stock syrup, place both the sugar and water into a saucepan, bring the mixture to a rolling boil to allow the sugar to dissolve. The mixture will turn from cloudy to clear, at this point remove the stock syrup from the heat and set aside to cool.
Place the vodka, along with the tea bags and cardamom into the large container and allow the mix to steep for one and a half to two hours. I like my tea strong so I left mine for two, taste the booze after an hour to see how it’s getting on and to ensure you get the right strength of flavour for you. After all brewing tea is a personal thing, these timings are just a guideline but I wouldn’t go further than 2 hours. Also, a note on cardamom. This is an optional ingredient but it really works here as it has a floral citrus note, akin to earl grey tea. A small amount will enhance the flavour of the tea no end, so do try it. I promise you, it’s worth it!
Once your tea is brewed to your taste discard the tea bags, stir in the stock syrup and transfer the booze into bottles, a funnel is always useful here.
The recipe makes 1.2 litres of earl grey tea vodka. I like to bottle mine into miniature 187ml wine bottles, this recipe fills 6 nicely, provided you only take small sips when tasting! Sealing the bottle tops with wax and a homemade label adds a finishing touch.
And to serve, on the rocks with a slice of lemon does the trick.