Put away the tea cozy and biscuits, teatime just got a makeover.
Black teas, like Earl Grey, are getting major props in the health community because of their healing properties, nutritional prowess and naturally antioxidant-rich botanicals. In particular, L-theanine, a component derived from tealeaves, is getting a lot of recognition because of its stress-reducing properties.
Known for inducing a relaxing effect while still maintaining mental alertness, L-theanine can make for a very chilled-out, but present, person. This iced version of Earl Grey is paired with a sweet fig syrup and a hint of citrus, making it a welcome change to your usual cup of tea.
Fancy a cuppa?
The Earl Grey Sweet and Sour
1 cup brewed Earl Grey tea, chilled
1 oz good quality vodka
½ – 1 oz fig and black pepper syrup (recipe follows)
¼ oz fresh-squeezed Meyer lemon or tangerine juice
Pour the chilled Earl Grey tea, vodka, fig syrup, and Meyer lemon (or tangerine) juice in a Collins glass filled with ice. Stir well to combine the ingredients and incorporate the chilling effect from the ice. Drink immediately.
Fig and Black Pepper Syrup
½ cup sliced dried figs
¼ tsp (about 10) black peppercorns
1 cup water
¼ cup organic honey
Place the figs, water, honey, and peppercorns in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low immediately and allow to simmer gently until the liquid reduces by half and become syrupy.
Strain the fig syrup through a sieve doubly lined with cheesecloth. (This is important for catching all of the little seeds.) You may have to squeeze the figs to release all of their juice.
***Not sure what else you can do with this syrup? How about a latte?