20 January 2009

An Earl Grey Remix

I hate to throw food away, so when faced with the leftover orange-peel syrup from those delightful little pistachio crescents, I knew what had to happen: flavored tea.

I usually don't sweeten tea- if you buy decent loose leaf and brew it correctly, you shouldn't need to either, because it won't be oversteeped or bitter. Unless, of course, you're addicted to sugar and have to have several batches of cookies, brownies and cupcakes stockpiled in your freezer at all times. Ha ha ha. We'll leave those freaks aside for the moment, though.

The bright, strong flavor of an orange syrup needs an equally bold tea, so I went for a black variety. After trying a few different brews, it was Earl Grey that stood out.

But Earl Grey already is flavored, blockhead, you're no doubt shouting at your screen. Yes, but the flavoring is bergamot oil, which is derived from the highly aromatic bergamot orange. According to Alan Davidson's comprehensive Oxford Companion to Food, Earl Grey is actually one of the oldest blended teas, coming onto the scene in the 18th century. Perfect time for an update, then. The tea's citrus overtones are pleasantly intensified by adding the orange syrup; together they create a warm, welcome fragrance.

And if you throw in a few fresh orange slices into the hot cup, you'll have a wakeup that can get you through any bleak winter morning.

If you don't have leftovers from the crescent cookie filling, then can you at least get your lazy duff off the couch long enough to cut the peel off an orange, chop it finely, and simmer it for 30 minutes in a mixture of equal parts water and granulated sugar (try 1/2 cup of each)? Yes, you can.


Gata said...

Sounds really nice...and resourceful!

Cha sen said...

Whoever came up with the combination of bergamot and black tea is a genius!

amy said...

that orange syrup sounds lovely... and i like the idea of steeping orange in tea, i've done lemon before, but will have to try the orange too!

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious, especially as I pointed out to a friend of mine that my blood type is Earl Grey +.

Anonymous said...

The monkey's tail needs wrapping

avra romanowitz said...

when is the monkey going to start his own blog? monkeyspot?

glad to see he's doing well, and getting plenty of vitamin c.

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