Hotel creates Earl Grey tea cocktail to celebrate North East beverage
Cocktail masters have created an early grey tea cocktail in celebration of one of the region's most famous culinary exports - and its namesake prime minister.
Mixologists for the Malmaison chain have concocted cocktails for the chain's "Malchemy" menu inspired by cities which are home to the company's 15 hotels.
The Grey Street Sour is the creation crafted in honour of the chain's North East branch in Newcastle.
The vibrant drink is comprised of Absolyut Elyx vodka with elderflower, lemon, Earl Grey tea and egg white.
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, of Howick Hall in Northumberland, who became prime minister in 1830, lent his name to the tea which was specially blended for the peer by a Chinese mandarin.
The tea was created to suit the water Howick, which has a high lime content. The blend uses bergamot to offset the taste of the lime.
The beverage became a hit when Lady Grey used it to entertain in London as a political hostess, and it proved so popular that she was asked if it could be sold to others.
Twinings came to market the tea and it is now sold worldwide. But the Greys, the family failed to register the trade mark so received a penny in royalties.
Charles Grey was MP for the Northumberland constituency and served as Foreign Secretary in an earlier period of his political career.
His time in office as prime minister saw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, and the Great Reform Act 1832, which dramatically improved democracy and ended abuses of the parliamentary system.
He is remembered in Newcastle by the statue of him in Grey Street, Grey's Monument, which also gives its name to the Metro station serving the area of the city centre.
The other Malmaison cocktails on the menu:
Dundee –The 3 Js
Named after the “Jute, jam and journalism’ epithet that the city earnt itself during the industrial revolution, The 3 Js features Glenfiddich 12yr mixed with lemon, sugar, egg white and bitters
Edinburgh – Firkin Brilliant
The Firkin Brilliant celebrates the leigh-based Firkin Oak Aged Gin. A delicate mix of bitters, apple, honey, lemon and soda, it’s a truly refreshing tipple
Manchester – Bee Have
Honouring Manchester’s worker bee symbol, honey is a key player in this Hendrick’s Gin cocktail. Added ginger ale and lemon give it a refreshing touch, whilst egg white makes it deliciously creamy
Liverpool – Ginger McCain
Two types of Rum and a dash of Cointreau form the basis of this tropical cocktail, topped with orange bitters, lime, grenadine, pineapple and ginger beer. It celebrates the famed horse trainer from Merseyside, Ginger McCain, and his horse, Red Rum – the only horse to win three grand nationals
Belfast – Irish Maid
The Irish Maid is made with Bushmills Irish Whiskey, cucumber, lime, mint and sugar – delicious
Leeds - The Rhubarb Triangle
With Slingsby Rhubarb Gin, lemon, honey, apple, Mediterranean Tonic, more rhubarb and rosemary, Leeds’ cocktail gives a nod to the city’s history. At one point Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield (the rhubarb triangle) were responsible for producing 90% of the world’s rhubarb
Birmingham – Rum Chocolate Rum
Paying homage to the birthplace of Cadbury’s, which began in Birmingham’s Bull Street in 1824 as just one person selling tea, coffee and hot chocolate, the Rum Chocolate Rum features Hacana Especial, Pussers Blue Label rum, Crème de Cacao, bitters and, of course, chocolate
Glasgow – Auchentoshan & Ale
Affectionately known as “Glasgow’s malt whisky", Auchentoshan’s sweet and delicate tones are perfectly matched with a Scottish Ale
Brighton – Walking on the Beaches
Inspired by the Strangler’s single "Peaches", said to have been written on Brighton beach, the cocktail’s name is taken from the line “Walking on the beaches looking at the peaches”. It’s a peachy twist on the traditional Aperol Spritz, with added Rinquinquin Peach and grapefruit
Aberdeen – Granite City
Chivas Regal 12, which was first sold in Aberdeen before it was available anywhere else in the world, takes centre stage here. Mixed with chamomile, lemon, honey and egg white
Cheltenham – Cotswold Julep
Taking the traditional drink from one of the largest horse races in America, the Kentucky derby, and giving it a Cheltenham races twist – the Cotswold Julep features Cotswold-based William Chase Gin, as well as St Germain Liquer, Lillet Rose, mint, soda and sugar
London – Gin Gin Mule
What else but King of Soho Gin? Mixed with lime, mint, ginger beer and sugar – need we say more?
Oxford – Fletcher’s Porridge
It’s now a luxury hotel but Malmaison Oxford previously served as a prison, and was used as the setting for the iconic sitcom Porridge.
The cocktail pays tribute to the show’s main character, Norman Fletcher, and features oat infused Absolut Blue, Licor 43, Tia maria, Frangelico and cream
Reading – Paddington’s Martini
Michael Bond, the author behind Paddington Bear, was bought up in Reading and has said it inspired his work, so for this cocktail it has got to be marmalade. Marmalade with Absolut Mandarin, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, orange and lemon, to be precise