Cousin Christy here! As we pass over from those April showers to May flowers, I wanted to provide you with a cocktail perfect for the occasion. This Lavender Earl Grey Fizz combines the stormy darkness of an Earl Grey tea with the soothing springtime flavor of lavender, in a way that tastes like you’re trading in that raincoat for a light sweater.
How, you ask, can we transform a cocktail into an activity involving picking out outerwear? One word: egg white. Okay, that’s two words. One ingredient: Okay, no that’s wrong too. There are many ingredients that make this drink special. It does involve the egg white but…alright let me start over…
Our recipe today is a “fizz,” meaning it has some form of lemon juice and carbonation. Like many classic fizz drinks, this one also utilizes an egg. Since I am not Rocky, putting an egg in my cocktail was uncharted territory, so I recruited a cocktail enthusiast buddy of mine to help with the process. He had a lot of helpful hints about how to use an egg white in your cocktail and why on earth you would do that in the first place.
For those of you fearing Salmonella, you’ve probably already stopped reading this post to avoid cyber-contact with the bacteria. For those of you curious enough to keep reading, you should know it is extremely unlikely that you would come across an egg that would even have the bacteria on it, and then for that bacteria to affect you, the egg would have to be mishandled by your egg farmer, your grocery store, and then you! Don’t trust me? I get that. I mean, this is Cousin Christy, not Dr. Knows-A-Lot-About-Eggs. So go ahead and check out this article: Cocktail 101: How to Use Eggs in Cocktails.
Now that we know they’re safe, why on earth would you want to do this? According to my aforementioned buddy, egg whites help bring a smooth texture to the drink and tops it with a thick foam that you can create designs in by dropping bitters and running a toothpick through. After drinking the cocktail, I can attest to the fact that it definitely adds a lovely frothy texture without altering flavors! This does have to be done pretty carefully, though, so proceed with caution.
Here’s what you need:
Lavender Earl Grey Fizz (for two!)
- Earl Grey tea bags (we used Tazo because it’s got some lemon essence in there but I suggest a quality loose leaf)
- 1¼ oz Simple Syrup
- Dried dried lavender flowers or lavender bitters (we used the bitters this time)
- ¾ oz of fresh lemon juice
- 1½ oz of Gin (I suggest St. George – Botanivore or a London dry gin)
- 1 Egg White
- Champagne (I suggest a Brut or a drier Champagne)
- First thing’s first: infuse your Earl Grey or lavender into your simple syrup. At his suggestion, my buddy and I had planned to take the dried lavender flower and throw that in the simple syrup after the sugar had dissolved, and then steep four tea bags in the gin for two hours. You have to steep the tea in the gin at room temperature because, as he pointed out, the gin’s delicate flavors are destroyed when heated.
However, our plans were derailed when my local grocery store fell through on having my desired ingredient stocked. Luckily, my roommate came through by randomly having lavender bitters!
Like a panther, we adjusted to steeping the Earl Grey in the hot simple syrup. We went with one cup sugar, one cup water, and four tea bags. We introduced the tea bags in the simple syrup once all the sugar had dissolved into the water and let it steep for eight minutes. As my friend pointed out, this final product tastes a lot like really sweet Sweet Tea. I would suggest adding more tea bags or steeping the bags for 10 minutes or more to achieve more earl grey flavor (which Sister Yaya can probably tell you, is the Bergamot).
Give your syrup a chance to cool by taking time to juice your lemons now. Then move on to assembly:
2. Order is important! You don’t want to add your hot syrup to the egg or else it will cook it and you don’t want to add your egg right after your lemon or it will curdle. As my friend informed me: when making any cocktail with an egg white, you add the egg white to the shaker last. This is the order we went with:
- Lavender Bitters (three hearty dashes – meaning turning the bottle completely upside down rather quickly)
- Lemon Juice
- Egg White
Pro Tip: You can separate your white into a small bowl and freeze your yolks to make a hollandaise at a later date.
3. Shake WITHOUT ICE first! My cocktail guru friend says the ice will shrink the egg white and does not let it incorporate fully. I was also told to keep shaking the cocktail until the egg is fully incorporated, which apparently means “until my friend’s arms get tired,” because it seemed like a full two minutes.
4. Shake WITH ice! Load that shaker up with ice and then give a good shake for about 30 seconds.
5. Pour cocktail out over a mesh strainer (not just your typical cocktail strainer). This helps keep any pulp or firm egg white proteins out of your drink…which is probably a Grade A mood killer in a smooth cocktail.
6. Try to get an even amount of the shaker contents in your two cups. Remember that you are not trying to fill them up all the way because you will be topping it with champagne.
These are the levels we got from just the shaker contents:
7. You guessed it: pop and then top with champagne! (I call this the ol’ Pop ‘n’ Top method.) We tried pouring over the back of a spoon, but found that pouring the champagne directly in the middle was the best method.
8. For extra flare, we tried to draw designs using the lavender bitters in the foam. Most bitters are darker than the lavender one, so they show up a bit better. If you look closely, you can see our fantastic design here:
If you were lucky enough to get those dried lavender flowers in your grocery store, you could top with a couple of the little buds. Let us know in the comments what you tried to make this cocktail look even more gorgeous!
9. Pinkies up! This fancy cocktail will have you feeling like you know more about British monarchy than you actually do, so just be prepared for that when you take a sip. That raised pinkie will go great with that new foam mustache.