The Earl of Orange – A Bourbon Cocktail


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 of Orange cocktail in rocks glass with cinnamon sticks and rosemary. Earl Gray tea tin and reamer, orange and flowers

Rocks Glasses / Cinnamon Sticks



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.





Spiced orange simple syrup in mason jar with cinnamon sticks and anise with orange, reamer and flowers

Star Anise / Cloves




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 mulling spices, cinnamon, clove and star anise. The combination of spice and citrus makes for a complex sweet syrup that has an incredible perfume as well.





Earl of Orange Cocktail with rosemary, cinnamon sticks, orange and mason jar




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.




Earl of Orange Cocktail in rocks glass with rosemary, cinnamon sticks, orange and Earl Gray tin in back with flowers



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.





Earl of Orange Cocktail with rosemary sprig and cinnamon sticks, Earl Gray tea tin, reamer, orange and mason jar




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!

Blood orange sidecars in vintage cocktail coupe and garnished with blood orange wheels.

Blood Orange Sidecar Cocktail




The Scofflaw Cocktail




Other Bourbon and Orange Cocktails

Maple Bourbon Smash – Food and Wine

Bourbon Orange Smash – Beautiful Booze

The Old Fashioned –

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





Yield: 1

The Earl of Orange - A Bourbon Cocktail

A delightful combination of Earl Grey tea, spiced orange syrup and bourbon in this cocktail.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes


Spiced Orange Syrup

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • peels of 1 orange

For the Cocktail

  • 2 dashes citrus bitters
  • 1.25 oz spiced orange syrup
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
  • orange twist for garnish
  • 1 oz chilled Earl Grey Tea


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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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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22 thoughts on “The Earl of Orange – A Bourbon Cocktail

  1. Wow what a perfect drink for the winter. I love your round ice cube tooo! We have those molds and love using it for our fancy drinks.

  2. Love the combination of spices and orange for the simple syrup. This looks so yummy! Maybe a silly question, but how do you express the oil from the orange peel over the cocktail? Just squeezing it or heating it up?

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