Citrus season is the best season, and we highlight that with this Earl Grey cocktail!
December is one of our favorite times of the year as cocktail bloggers, because it officially is the start of citrus season! Fresh citrus starts appearing in stores and finding its way into our cocktails. With a bag of fresh oranges in our kitchen, and Christmas coming up, our Earl of Orange cocktail is a perfect sipping orange liqueur cocktail for the season!
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Earl Grey Cocktail
In many families, giving oranges as a gift at Christmas is part of their family tradition. This hearkens back to the gold, spices and gifts of the Three Kings and the gold that Saint Nick left in people’s stockings. We wanted to capture some of that wonderful flavor of oranges and spice for our Earl of Orange cocktail.
Likewise we thought a spiced orange syrup would be the perfect starting point.
Our spiced orange syrup is a delicious combination of sweet and spice. Made with fresh orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice, there is a full bold burst of orange flavor. To bring a nice bit of holiday spice, we added in some traditional Sur La Table Mulling Spice, cinnamon, clove and star anise.
The combination of spice and citrus makes for a complex sweet syrup that has an incredible perfume as well.
Bourbon is a wonderful spirit for the winter as it is one of those drinks that warms the body and soul. Bourbon also just happens to pair up really well with orange and spice, so a healthy dram was just what the doctor ordered for this Earl Grey cocktail. Bringing a caramel sweetness and hints of the same spices as our spiced orange syrup, the bourbon just enhanced the festive feel of the spiced orange syrup.
What Other Flavors Did We Use?
We needed a way to bring a little balance to the Earl of Orange and temper the sweetness of the spiced orange syrup and bourbon. Rather than go sour, we decided to bring in a little bitterness to the party. Not wanting to lose the bright orange flavor we had, we turned to Earl Grey tea which is made from black tea flavored with bergamot oil which is made from the rind of the bitter orange.
The black tea of the Earl Grey brings a pleasant herbal bitterness that balanced the sweet with hint of bitter while adding another layer of orange flavor.
The Earl of Orange is a wonderful sipping cocktail full of the flavors of the Holidays, full of bright orange and festive spice. Hints of orange and spice tempt the taste buds and fill your nose with a rich perfume. It feels like Christmas. We hope the Earl of Orange will find a way to your holiday table!
Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Bourbon and Orange Cocktails
Maple Bourbon Smash – Food and Wine
Bourbon Orange Smash – Beautiful Booze
The Old Fashioned – Liquor.com
Bourbon Coolers – Food Network
Bourbon Manhattan – Inspired Taste
Other Earl Grey Cocktails
Earl Grey Tea Cocktail – Sugar and Charm
Earl Grey Martini – Olivia’s Cuisine
Earl Grey French 75 – Cookie and Kate
Earl Grey Bourbon Punch – Bon Appetit
Earl Grey Gin Cocktail – One Martini
For the Cocktail
- 2 dashes citrus bitters
- orange twist for garnish
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 oz chilled Earl Grey Tea
- 1.25 oz spiced orange syrup
Spiced Orange Syrup
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 whole star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6-8 whole cloves
- peels of 1 orange
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
For the Cocktail
Add all ingredients into the cocktail shaker.
Fill shaker with ice.
Shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice.
Express the oils of the orange peel onto the top of the cocktail.
For the Spiced Orange Syrup
Place sugar, water and orange juice into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
While mixture is heating, zest an orange into the saucepan.
Add spices into the mixture.
Once it's boiling, remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the orange peels, but leave the spices for 10 more minutes.
Once cool, strain the syrup into an airtight glass jar and store in the fridge.
Spicy World Star Anise 3 Ounce
Crystal-Clear Ice Ball Maker, 2-Cavity Mold, Jumbo Ice Balls, Better Kitchen Products
Rodelle Cinnamon Sticks, 8 Ounce
Whole Cloves 3.5 oz
Hella Cocktail Citrus Bitters - 5oz Bottle, Premium Bitters with Bright, Full, Aromatic Tastes
Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey, 50 Teabags
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257 Total Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 26mg Carbohydrates: 32.7g Fiber: 0.1g Sugar: 2.4g Protein: 0.2g
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