The Story Behind The Countess
"People kept calling me fancy because I drink Earl Grey tea instead of coffee!” says Andrew Ahlquist, general manager of South Main Kitchen in Alpharetta, Ga. “So, I figured I would make a fancy drink." Ahlquist created the fittingly named Countess cocktail, a drink that, in addition to an Earl Grey-infused Lillet Blanc, includes gin, lemon, and pomegranate juice, plus sweet elderflower liqueur.
The result is a refreshing cocktail whose fruity flavor is buttressed by Earl Grey. “The Bergamot citrus and robust black tea flavor from the Earl Grey melds so well with the floral dryness of the Lillet,” Ahlquist says.
The Countess is topped with orange blossom water and flamed absinthe, producing a mild numbing effect on the palate that can be more simply imitated at home with an absinthe rinse of the glass. While the orange blossom and absinthe are not essential ingredients, Alhquist notes that they “add an extra pop.”
- 1 ½ ounces 13th Colony Gin
- ¾ ounce Earl Grey-infused Lillet Blanc (recipe follows)
- ¾ ounce St. Elder
- ½ ounce pomegranate juice
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- 3 dashes orange blossom water (optional)
- Flamed absinthe (optional)
- Add ingredients into a shaker with ice.
- Shake and then double strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with an edible flower.
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Earl Grey-Infused Lillet Blanc Ingredients
- 2 cups Lillet Blanc
- Four tea bags of Earl Grey tea
Earl Grey-Infused Lillet Blanc Directions
- Steep ingredients in a pot on the stove (making sure the Lillet doesn’t boil).