Royal-Tea Cocktail

Royal-Tea With Beefeater Gin

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

Can you get any more British than gin and tea? The two come together wonderfully in the royal-tea cocktail. Though it was created by Beefeater Gin to celebrate "The Queen" and the movie's 2007 Oscar win, it is a timeless drink. It's also the perfect excuse to combine tea time and happy hour.

This gin-spiked iced tea recipe is very simple. You'll begin by brewing a pot of Earl Grey tea and placing it in the fridge to chill. Once the tea is ready, simply add a shot of Beefeater and lemon and sugar to taste. It is brilliant, refreshing, and oh-so-easy to mix up!


  • 1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
  • 2 ounces Earl Grey tea (freshly brewed; chilled)
  • 1 splash lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
  • Garnish: lemon wheel

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, pour the gin and chilled tea. Add the lemon juice and sugar to taste.

  3. Stir well.

  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel. Serve and enjoy.


  • For the best flavor, brew the tea with hot water then chill it in the refrigerator. Make a large batch of tea and it will be ready to build the cocktail whenever you like.
  • Earl Grey is a black tea blend with a hint of citrus. For loose-leaf tea, use about 1 teaspoon for 1 cup of near-boiling water, or use one teabag. It generally requires 4 to 5 minutes to steep, but follow the brewing time recommended with the tea you're using.
  • When choosing a substitute for Beefeater, try to stick with a traditional London dry gin. These are juniper-forward and have a bold botanical blend that's perfect for black teas.

Recipe Variations

  • Switch to your favorite black tea.
  • When pouring a softer gin, such as Hendrick's or Aviation, explore herbal tea pairings.
  • Sweeten the tea with honey or simple syrup. Start with about 1/4 ounce and adjust to taste.
  • For an extra hint of flavor, garnish the tea with a sprig of mint or lavender.
  • Add some sparkle by topping the drink with tonic water or citrus-flavored sparkling water.

How Strong Is the Royal-Tea?

The royal-tea is a refreshing and relatively mild mixed drink. As the recipe reads, its alcohol content is 14 percent ABV (28 proof), or similar to a glass of wine. Of course, you can dampen that a bit without sacrificing flavor by adding more tea.

What Types of Alcohol Are Good With Tea?

Gin is a very good choice for tea cocktails, both hot and cold. Nearly any of the base distilled spirits will work, though gin, rum, and bourbon are among the best options.

Will Tea Help Sober You Up?

It's a common myth that drinking tea can lessen the effects of alcohol and even prevent or treat a hangover. While warm tea is soothing and iced tea refreshing, tea contains caffeine—Earl Grey has 55 to 90 milligrams per cup. The caffeine can make you more alert and that can mask the depressant effects of the alcohol. While it may energize you, tea will not help you sober up because it doesn't affect how the liver metabolizes alcohol. There are animal studies examining whether tea may reduce the harm that alcohol has on the liver, though its benefit in people is unclear.

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Article Sources
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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and Public Health; Alcohol and Caffeine. February 4, 2020.

  2. Wang F, Zhang YJ, Zhou Y, et al. Effects of Beverages on Alcohol Metabolism: Potential Health Benefits and Harmful Impacts. Int J Mol Sci. 2016;17(3):354. doi:10.3390/ijms17030354