Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iced Earl Grey Lattes

 S and I spent last week in the Outerbanks with a group of crazy watersports fanatics, kayaking, windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding, and photographing our housemates giant kiteboarding jumps.

Not to mention harvesting wild oysters, climbing trees, riding bikes, releasing spirit lanterns, and exploring beach cemeteries and abandoned amusement parks. And of course eating more than our fair share of fried seafood. One day I had deep fried shrimp for lunch and dinner. 

Every June my father makes a pilgrimage to Cape Hatteras with a group of his closest friends, and once they arrive the beer and kiteboards come out, and they don't get put away until everyone is loaded back into their cars for the trip home. We've come along for the last two years, and had a great time. I don't kiteboard, but above is proof that I can (usually) catch a ride on a windsurfer. 

We stay in a sound-front house packed with as many extreme sports aficionados as can fit. These are the type of people who windsurf and wakeboard all summer, then ski and snowboard all winter, with mountain biking mixed in throughout. I grew up amongst my parents friends, frequently the only child on a ski trip, on the windsurfing launch beach, or at a party, listening to conversations about wind speed and sail size, the conditions in Park City vs. Steamboat, whether or not lake Chautauqua had frozen enough yet for kitepowered snowboarding. 

While these conversations were over-my-head and largely dull to a eight or ten year old, I now find myself, in my midtwenties, swapping stories of incredible ski runs and gnarly wipeouts with my roommate (an ex-lift operator at Big Sky), and exchanging email addresses with grizzled looking middleaged kayakers I meet by the East River (he said we could borrow his kayaks anytime!). 

All those hardcore sports can work up quite an appetite for food and drink. Dinner's at the rental house in Hatteras range from northern Thai Laab, to spaghetti and homemade meatballs, to homemade hot chicken wings, to appetizer and wine night. The day might begin with a mexican fritatta and a bloody mary (complete with vodka soaked olives and homemade bloody mary mix), and end with malaysian curried beef puffs and green curry chicken soup. Round it out with as many Yuenglings and homemade wine coolers as you like. 

S is such a city kid he doesn't even know how to drive a car, so the trip there and back requires my driving the whole time, which requires a bit of caffeine. I wish I'd had a couple of these Earl Grey Latte's for the ride home, but alas, I made do with many bottles of Coca Cola. 

I whipped these up Tuesday morning, S had the day off so we enjoyed them while sorting through our plethora of photos from the trip. They're delightfully creamy but the tea is still full flavored, and the lavender adds a lovely touch.

I made these with both milk and sweetened condensed milk, but you could definitely sub in almond or coconut milk. Additionally, I just recently learned about sweetened condensed coconut milk, in case you want to make these vegan. These make a lovely and refreshing summertime drink, and a great alternative to an iced latte. Enjoy!

Iced Earl Grey Latte

16 oz water
4 tea bags
8 oz desired milk (cow, coconut, almond, or soy)
4 oz sweetened condensed milk (or sweetened condensed coconut milk)
1.5 tbsp lavender (optional)
2 tsp honey

If using, place the lavender in a tea ball or tea bag. Boil water, add the earl grey teabags and the lavender, and allow to steep for 10 minutes, remove tea bags and lavender, then stir in honey.
Refrigerate tea at least 1 hour to cool.

In a large jar, or medium sized pitcher, combine tea, sweetened condensed milk, and regular milk, stir vigorously, or use an immersion blender to mix until totally combined. 

Pour over ice and serve. 

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