Earl Grey Sparkling Tea and Tonic Drink Recipe

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Earl Grey Sparkling Tea and Tonic Mocktail – light and refreshing hibiscus earl grey tea on ice with tonic and a hint of lemon.

This drink is cool and refreshing, perfect for a light pick-me-up during the day, and a not too caffeinated drink at night.

It’s a great replacement for a cocktail when you want something that feels fancy, but is super simple to make – and is a great non-alcoholic drink to serve at brunch alongside boozy sangria mimosas and peach bellinis – or our delicious cardamom coffee.

You can use any black or herbal tea you love, but we really love this with a blend of hibiscus earl grey we’re suggesting below from an Australian shop that now ships on Amazon (trust us, the tea we’re recommending is 100% worth buying because the flavor is amazing!)

We’re partial to floral or fruity black teas for this mocktail, as a stronger tea flavor is best to keep it from tasting watered down or weak when mixed with tonic and ice.

We hope you love this drink as much as we do!

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What Tea To Use

We recommend buying French Earl Grey tea from T2 (a company I am absolutely obsessed with that I found when visiting my brother and sister in law who live in Australia. They used to not be as easy to find/available in the US, but they now ship with Amazon!) – they have the cutest teapots (click here for the hammered glass teapot pictured here) and bone china mugs with tea infusers built in, and have the most unreal delicious teas – the Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, Lemongrass and Ginger, Sticky Chai, and Sleep Tight teas are all to die for.

While you can buy tea in teabags (so you don’t have to worry about straining) but I prefer loose leaf tea so I can control the flavor more.

What Tonic To Use

We prefer diet tonic to make this drink almost calorie free – but you can use any type of tonic you love.

If you don’t mind a tonic water with sugar, this drink is out of this world with Fever Tree Elderberry Tonic.

If you’re going for something easy to find and drink without added calories, we recommend Schweppes Diet Tonic.

How to Brew Tea

Since this drink is so simple, we’re relying on well-extracted tea flavor – not burnt or too-cool water that won’t extract enough flavor as the tea leaves steep.

If you’ve ever wondered what temperature water to use, how much water to brew tea with, or how long to let tea steep, this handy guide will help you get the perfect cuppa, everytime!

How Much Water To Use For Tea

A good rule of thumb is one tablespoon loose leaf tea per cup of water, though this will be different for every person, depending on how dark you like tea.

What Temperature Water to Use For Tea

For the best tea, you’ll want to use certain water temperature ranges to be sure you don’t burn or under-extract your tea.

If you’re a fan of perfect tea (like my very picky husband who grew up outside of London and takes such matters very, very seriously), you will want to find the right temperature for water to steep tea leaves in.

For an easy electric water kettle that allows you to set the water temperature, click here.

  • Dark teas like Pu’er and fruit tisanes should be made with boiling hot water – around 212°F.
  • Black tea (like Earl Grey), should be around 200°F. Bring the water to a boil, then take it off the heat and let it sit for 30 to 60 seconds if you don’t have a temperature-read kettle.
  • Green tea, white tea, and oolong teas should be in the 158°F to 185°F range – boil water and let it sit for two minutes to aim for this range.
  • Delicate teas like white tea or very subtle green teas should be brewed around 140°F. You’ll want to wait 3-5 minutes after boiling water for this temperature.

How Long To Steep Tea

You’ll want to let tea steep for between 3-7 minutes – which varies depending on how dark you like your tea to brew.

Brewing Tea For Iced Mocktails

For this recipe, we are very intentionally over-extracting tea, so there is a more concentrated flavor to stand up to tonic water’s earthy bitterness and so it doesn’t taste watered down when served over lots of ice.

For this recipe, you’re going to let the tea leaves steep for 30 minutes – until a rich amber color.

This is why we strongly recommend making this drink with T2’s French Earl Grey or another earl gray tea you love (if you can snag some hibiscus tea to blend in as well, the flavor is out of this world!)

The sweet floral notes from hibiscus help to counteract the bitter bergamot flavor when over-extracted, so your tea tastes stronger over ice, without tasting too bitter.

If you’re looking for a great pitcher with tea strainer built-in, perfect for making iced teas, please click here.

Other Non Alcoholic Drinks You’ll Love

Recipe FAQs

How long can I store brewed tea?

Remove tea leaves from your tea after steeping, and store any unused tea in a pitcher with a lid or jar with lid for up to for 2-5 days.
Don’t add tonic to drink until you’re ready to drink it – or you will lose all of the carbonation.

Earl Grey Sparkling Tea and Tonic Recipe

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A glass of sparkling tea and tonic with a hint of Earl Grey, garnished with a slice of lemon.

Earl Grey Sparkling Tea and Tonic

Earl Grey Sparkling Tea and Tonic Mocktail – light and refreshing hibiscus earl grey tea on ice with tonic and a hint of lemon.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword drink, mocktail, sparkling tea, tea
Prep Time 5 minutes
Steeping Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 2kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 2 tablespoons earl grey tea
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup diet tonic water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • lemon slices to garnish, optional


  • Pour boiling water over loose leaf tea leaves, let steep for 30 minutes.
  • When tea has cooled, stir in lemon juice.
  • Strain tea into a tall glass filled with ice, filling glass 1/2-3/4 way with tea.
  • Top with tonic, stir. (You can make a half and half mix, or have more tea than tonic for this recipe, depending on your liking.)
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 18mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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