Earl Grey Hot Toddy: This Earl Grey & whiskey recipe will have you loving cosy winter nights

We’ve got the winter tea recipe with a special twist for you – a legendary flavour, largely owed to a legendary tea.

It’s no coincidence that one of the English’s favourite teas, Earl Grey, has such a noble name – it’s actually named after a nobleman! Charles Grey, second Earl Grey. A member of the noble House of Grey and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-nineteenth century.


The various stories why this black tea with its floral, citric, and pleasantly acerbic notes came to be named after Charles Grey are too irresistible not to summarise in a few lines here before we jump into our unique Julius Meinl twist of an Earl Grey Hot Toddy. 


Now, one of the theories floating around is that a grateful Chinese man, whose son was rescued by one of Earl Grey’s men when drowning, gifted Grey the tea. The thing is, there’s no record of Earl Grey ever having stepped foot in China. 

The Grey family claims that it was specially blended in East Asia for Lord Grey to counterbalance the awful taste of the water that was served at their Howick Hall residence at the time. You see, what makes the taste of Earl Grey stand out from a line-up of black teas is the bergamot oil that’s added to it. This is why the tea did its magic and transformed the bad water into a delicious treat. 

According to the most popular legend, however, as is so often the case with groundbreaking discoveries, we owe the invention of Earl Grey tea to pure coincidence. A British merchant ship loaded with a barrel of bergamot oil and black tea destined for the Earl was caught in a storm. The barrels overturned and the oil spilled over the tea. When Earl Grey received his damaged cargo in the harbor, everyone assumed he would dump it into the water. But far from it: he tasted the tea and was so taken with its aroma that he had it professionally produced from then on. 


No matter how Earl Grey came to be, like all good things in life, there’s a legendary story behind it. 


The following recipe’s story begins in Sri Lanka and southern India – where Julius Meinl’s take of this tea is grown – and ends in your cup which is hopefully being sipped from as good stories like the one above are shared. The whiskey in it should help.

Julius Meinl’s Earl Grey Hot Toddy Recipe

Servings: tea for two!


What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups of water (300ml)
  • 2 tea bags of Julius Meinl Earl Grey Blossom
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 shot of bourbon whiskey


How to make it:

1. Get your favourite slippers and warm bathrobe on (yes, even if you’re enjoying this with friends)

2. Bring the water to boil in a pot

3. Dangle your teabags in the boiling water and steep them for approximately x2 winter comfort songs you’ve got in your playlist at the moment (aka. 5 minutes)

4. Add the lemon juice, honey and whiskey and let it simmer while listening to another two tunes that make you simmer with the right amount of melancholic winter vibes

5. Pour yourself and your fellow tea drinking buddy a cup and let the stories flow! Or simply sit there in silence while streaming your favourite series – up to you. 


Check out these other tea and coffee creations that go perfect with a winter’s night.

Interested to learn more?

Read more about coffee and tea, their preparation and popular coffee- and tea-based drinks.

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