Earl Grey Syrup and Secret Garden Sour


Lately I have become infatuated with Earl Grey tea, I began drinking it and it inevitably has ended up in my cocktails. Indeed I have a number of Earl Grey infusions in my fridge at the moment. I wanted to share with you a simple to make Earl Grey syrup and a cocktail recipe to use it in.

Earl Grey Syrup

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon loose leaf or 1 tea bag Earl Grey


Place the  tea in the warm water and leave for an hour to steep. Keep in mind that if you decide to use loose leaf tea you will need a fine mesh strainer. Once steeped, put tea in a sauce pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, lower to a simmer, stir until sugar is dissolved. You can stop here, but if you like a thicker syrup as I do continue to stir it over a low-medium heat until it thickens to the right consistency. Once you are happy with the syrup take it off the heat and let it cool before removing the tea and transferring it into an airtight container. I found these awesome glass bottles at a dollar store and capped it with a bottle spout.


I like to use the syrup in cocktails of course but I also recommend trying it in lemonade or sparkling water for a refreshing treat.

Secret Garden Sour

  • 1.5 oz London Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Earl Grey Syrup
  • 1oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 egg white (optional but it gives the drink it’s texture and the beautiful foam top)
  • Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
  • Lavender or other fresh herb for garnish

I love a good sour and this one plays refreshingly with gin’s herbal notes. I encourage you to make it with the egg white, but if you prefer it can be made without. I prepped my glass with ice to chill it, a coupe is lovely but a martini glass works as well. Add your gin, syrup, lemon, and egg to your cocktail shaker without ice. Shaking the ingredients without ice is called a “dry shake” and helps to break up and “beat” the egg white. Dry shake can take a lot of muscle but failing to do it well will give you weird glops of egg white in your cocktail. To help I’ll share a little trick I have, take the spring off of an extra Hawthorn strainer and put it in the shaker with the ingredients. The spring acts as a whisk as you shake. I also recommend wrapping a towel around the seal on your shaker as you dry shake to help catch anything that escapes. The seal does not keep as well when you don’t have ice in the tin.


After you’ve done the dry shake, open your tin, it should have a rich, white, frothy foam as my picture. Remove the spring and add your ice. Shake well, about 8 times, the tin should look frosty on the outside.


Dump the ice from your chilled cocktail glass and use the strainer you did not take apart (or you can quickly reconstruct the first one) and strain it into the glass. Finish with 3 drop of the lavender bitters and a sprig of lavender as garnish. To finish mine with a nice little pattern I dragged a toothpick through my bitters drops in a circular motion.

This cocktail may sound daunting but once you’ve mastered the dry shake it will be easy as pie! Try it out with pisco or vodka instead of gin for a slightly different flavor!


Growing up Italian I am predisposed to enjoy good food and wine. In fact I would probably be excommunicated from the family if I stopped eating any major food group (or just mercilessly ridiculed). Being raised on wine and loud family gatherings it is no surprise I ended up behind a bar. I’ve been bartending for almost 9 years now with my focus being on craft and classic cocktails. I'm honored to be a two time regional finalist for the prestigious Diageo World Class bartending competition and a partner in The Traveling Speakeasy; a company focused on providing cocktails for private events and bar consultations.I’m continually futzing around with new recipes and techniques at home and at work, I look forward to sharing with you my original recipes and favorite bars.