When thinking about an English tea party it is easy to get carried away with thoughts of  Alice in Wonderland, Victorian mansions, upper crust and sipping tea with elevated pinky fingers.  The tradition of taking tea has developed over time and has become a decadent and somewhat exclusive affair.  However, high tea was originally far from highfalutin and was enjoyed by the working class as part of their evening supper. The original high tea was a heartier affair with the offerings being more than tea, dainty cucumber sandwiches and scones.

englishrose1Tea time is now thought of as mid to late afternoon and has evolved to mean a snack between a main meal that is elegant and refined. However, I propose that the afternoon tea should be revised and that we ditch the tea and keep the delicate china cups and saucers for an altogether more substantial drink; the following cocktail is bound to make the conversation flow more freely although formal tea party etiquette may also drift.

englishrose2Rosie Lea Cocktail

50ml  gin
35ml strong cold Rose scented tea
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 ml sugar syrup
1 free-range egg white
Crushed ice

Place the gin, rose tea, lemon juice, sugar syrup, ice and egg white into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Double strain the liquid into pretty china tea-cups and serve.
Chin Chin!

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About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com