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The Names Grey… Earl Grey

“Martini… Shaken, not stirred”

There may not be a more famous line from any movie than that James Bond Classic. It is so famous, that there have been spinoffs to the classic martini due to their popularity. Now you can order a Dirty Martini, French Martini or even a Tea-Tini.

But no matter what style of martini you order, they all have one thing in common, a clean fermented alcohol, usually Vodka or Gin.

As the most popular tea blend, Earl Grey also has its spinoffs

There are more variations of Earl Grey these days than I can count, but they all have one thing in common…. Bergamot.

Bergamot is an Italian citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey its signature flavor. So no matter what style of Earl Grey you find, remember that there will always be bergamot in the blend.

To help you out a bit, I have created a short guide to Earl Grey

In no way does this encompass all of the Earl Grey blends out there, but I hope this can help clarify the famous tea blend named for the second Earl Grey, a Prime Minister in the 1830s.

  • If there is a feminine modifier, then it will have less bergamot with a milder flavor. The most obvious version of this is Lady Earl Grey (which also has lemon and orange), but I have also seen Princess Earl Grey, Mrs. Earl Grey and others.
  • If it has a modifier that implies strength, then it will be stronger. Examples are Earl Grey-er, Extra Earl Grey, etc.
  • Many are self explanatory. For example, if the blend is a Earl Grey White, then it is white tea with Bergamot. If it is Raspberry Earl Grey, then it is black tea with bergamot and raspberries.

Then there are some “standard” blends that use other ingredients

Here are a few that come to mind. Remember, this is a very basic overview:

  • Russian Earl Grey: Earl Grey with additional citrus (orange/lemon) and flowers
  • Earl Grey Imperial: Uses a Darjeeling Base
  • Victorian Earl Grey: Uses Rose petals
  • Creme Earl Grey: Earl Grey with Vanilla
  • French Earl Grey: Earl Grey with Lavender

And to top it off, there are also Earl Grey Martini’s! They are made with Vodka, Earl Grey Tea and a touch of sugar. While it is quite good, I’m not sure if you will ever hear James Bond order one.

photo: www.flickr.com/photos/cowfish/132547104/

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