Nature is blooming in a rainbow of color. Both night and day are narrated by the sounds of chirping, tweeting and warbling. The air is thick with the scent of pollen, cut grass and sea spray. Daylight lingers into the early hours of evening with a relentless heat always by it’s side.
You know what this means? It’s Summer! ‘Tis the season for a tall, cold glass of icy refreshment aka, iced tea. Earl Grey and lavender iced tea to be exact!
This iced tea is hands down one of my favorites. The resinous citrus flavor of bergamot oil in the Earl Grey blends beautifully with the floral, herbaceous notes of lavender. This tea is enchantingly botanical, lightly sweet and bronzed amber in color
Earl Grey and lavender iced tea is delicate and has an air of refinement. It’s perfect for sipping alongside a tray of tea cakes and sandwiches. If delicate isn’t your thing, no worries, this tea has a robust depth making it a wonderful accompaniment to heavier dishes like a big o’l plate of lacquered BBQ.
Earl Grey and lavender iced tea is deliciously drinkable! Wherever, however you choose to spend your summer, this iced tea will make it more bearable if not down right delightful!
Tips & Tricks
- Earl Grey can vary in flavor depending on the quality of the tea and the amount of added bergamot oil. I suggest you sample some Earl Grey teas and choose a favorite. Using a consistent source for tea will help you homogenize your results. For this recipe I used Aged Earl Grey from the Numi Organic Tea company. You can find it on Amazon, buy it directly from Numi or at your local natural food store. I bought my tea in a 1 lb quantity. Buying tea in bulk makes it cheaper than buying individual tea bags and it’s usually much fresher.
- Follow this link (Simple Syrup Two Ways) to my post about making traditional simple syrup as well as a low carb option. You may also use honey as a sweetener but you’ll get a different flavor profile.
- Be conservative when adding sweetener to your batch of tea. Add a little sweetener at a time, working your way up to your desired level. The finished tea in this recipe is moderately sweetened. If you’re serving folks that enjoy more sweetness, serve extra simple syrup alongside the tea. For those who like things less sweet, offer a pitcher of ice water so they may dilute the tea to their liking.
- Fill serving glasses 2/3 with ice then pour in the tea. It’s important to have a good ratio of ice to tea. The dissolution of the ice is integral to the final taste and viscosity of the drink.
- The addition of baking soda in this recipe is not a typo. Baking soda helps to neutralize some of the tannins in the tea thereby taming some of the bitterness that can develop.
- I prefer to use highball glasses for serving iced tea.
Lets get brewing!
- 8 cups boiling water (preferably filtered water)
- 6-8 bags of Earl Grey tea (alternatively 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons loose leaf Earl Grey tea )
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers (preferably organic). Do not attempt to use more lavender as your tea will begin to taste soapy.
- 3/4 cup traditional simple syrup or Monkfruit simple syrup
- pinch of baking soda (helps remove bitterness, optional)
- pinch of sea salt (to accentuate flavor, optional)
- In a large heat proof measuring cup (such as Pyrex) or bowl, combine tea bags, lavender and boiling water. Allow to steep for ten minutes. If using loose leaf tea, combine the tea and lavender in a large "tea" ball to steep. If you don't have a tea ball, allow both the lavender and Earl Grey to steep loose in the container and strain when decanting.
- While the tea is steeping, add the simple syrup of your choice ( see post on Simple Syrup Two Ways), a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of baking soda. Stir to combine.
- Taste the tea and adjust to your liking. For more sweetness, add additional simple syrup. Be careful how much you add or the tea will become cloying instead of refreshing. If you find the tea to strong , you can dilute it with some additional water. Be careful not to dilute the tea too much as it will naturally dilute once served over ice.
- Pour the final tea blend through a fine mesh sieve into a large heat proof pitcher or jar/jars (Mason or Ball jars). Use a funnel to make it easier to pour the tea into your container of choice. Cover and cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.
- Fill glasses 2/3 full with ice cubes and poor the cold tea over the ice.
- Garnish with fresh lavender stalks or edible flowers (honeysuckle, pansies, violets, nasturtium, etc) and serve immediately.
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