I love snow as much as the next person and I have a deep scarf and sweater fetish but that doesn't mean I don't miss my sandals and sun hats. And barbecued foods. And fruit sorbets and iced beverages and watermelon.
In my angst for warmer weather and my excitement over the one warm day that broke through the clouds yesterday, I craved a weather appropriate beverage. While iced tea or lemonade seemed nice, it was just that. Nice. I wanted something more enticing than just nice. I wanted something that could play off of this confused temperature raging outside my windows. Something that was appropriate for the brisk wind that whipped through the trees but could mingle with the warm sun rays breaking through the clouds. It is still officially cold enough to be drinking hot beverages during the day but yesterday someone could of gotten away with an iced coffee and I wouldn't of passed much judgement.
I will never get tired of my faithful plain cup of hot coffee. I admit I will sometimes switch up the bean flavor if I need to spice my life up a little, but I never stray far from my arabica. When it comes to my cooking though, I am constantly experimenting with different spices and herbs. Lately I've been on a big ginger kick. The thing with spices and herbs is that certain ones are constantly categorized with certain seasons of the year. Spices like cardamom, cinnamon or cloves usually gives my senses a warm fall feeling, thus keeping them reserved for pumpkin pie and snow days. But yesterday, as the suns warmth struggled to break through the winter winds and tease us with thoughts of bare feet on hot asphalt, I decided that I wanted a pinch of fall to mix with a dash of summer. I wanted to remain in a happy place of wearing scarves yet being barefoot. The perfect beverage to give me this was to transform the coziness of fall into a refreshing iced drink. This creation has the belly warming taste of fire places and wool sweaters yet the iced chilliness of warm sand and freshly mowed grass. A simple slurp and you can now have the best of both worlds.
Spiced Iced Thai Tea
makes 4-6 cups
The beauty with this recipe is that it has major room for adaption. You may use any type of black tea, spices and milks you prefer. This is the measurements and flavors I enjoy and used, but feel free to change any of it.
6 cups boiling water
5 teabags black tea (your choice) I used Bigelow English Breakfast because it has a natural spice I enjoy
2 tablespoons of a mixture of cinnamon, allspice and cloves*
2 tablespoons of Truvia natural sweetener (or any preferred choice of sugar or sweetener)
1/4 cup condensed milk
Evaporated milk + coconut milk
Bring the water to a boil. Steep the black tea in about 5 cups of boiling water for about 7 minutes. The longer the better because the tea will be stronger which balances against the added milks and sweetness cozily.
If using whole spices, chop them roughly and in a separate dish steep the spices in the remaining cup of boiled water in either a mesh ball tea strainer, a tea bag or in my case I used a simple little wooden steeper. If using a spiced tea bag steep the tea bag in the remaining cup of boiled water as well.
Once steeped, combine the spiced tea with the black tea. Add the condensed milk and bring to a complete chill in fridge.
When chilled, add ice to choice of glass and pour in desired amount of the chilled brewed liquid. I added about a tablespoon of evaporated milk and a tablespoon of coconut milk. Next time I will add less evaporated milk and more coconut milk because I would prefer a more dominant taste of coconut.
Serve immediately and allow thoughts of aqua marine water and snow to over come your senses. It is savory senses approved, guarantee or your memories back.
*Thai iced tea typically calls for a spice called star anise, but I didn't feel the need to purchase a $10.99 container of a spice I would most likely not use again, so I toyed with the recipes and decided on this combination of spices.