Vanilla & Earl Grey Italian Cream Soda

By • May 31, 2011 • 11 Comments


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Author Notes: The combination of vanilla and earl grey is one of my very favorites- and is employed in everything from popsicles to cookies. In the winter, I love to add homemade vanilla simple syrup to my earl grey tea, then cap it off with a dose of whole milk or half and half. This is the summer variation of my winter stand by.

In this recipe, I like to use a "left-over" vanilla bean. I find many recipes call for the seeds and I often have vanilla bean shells laying around. This is the perfect use for them. - Hilarybee
Hilarybee

Food52 Review: Sweet and bubbly, this Italian cream soda was surprisingly refreshing with just a touch of half and half. The vanilla and earl grey syrup was simple to make and came to life when mixed with the seltzer water. - jvcooksjvcooks

Makes 5-6 8 oz drinks

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 3-4 Bags of Earl Grey tea
  • Seltzer Water
  • Half and Half or Whole Milk
  1. To make the simple syrup, combine the vanilla bean and sugar in a small saucepan. Rub the vanilla bean in the sugar, until the mixture is fragrant. Add the earl grey tea and water. If you want extra earl grey oomph, use four bags of tea. I like to use three, for just a hint of bergamot. Heat on medium low and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat, and use tongs to remove the tea bags. Leaving the tea bags in the mixture will make the syrup bitter. Allow syrup to cool before using. I like to let it sit overnight.
  2. To make the soda: Fill an 8 oz glass 3/4ths full with seltzer water. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup syrup, depending on desired sweetness. Top with half and half.

Comments (11) Questions (0)

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almost 3 years ago susan g

This drink was lovely. My Earl Grey (loose) didn't come through distinctly, and the first impression was that it tastes like root beer (an old favorite). I'm going to tinker with it a little more, but was very good just the way I made it. Thank you for an inspiring soda, and gateway to more.
I looked at the Old Wilmington Tea Company -- makes me wonder if we will live long enough to try all that we wish to!

Hilary_sp1

almost 3 years ago Hilarybee

I'm glad you enjoyed it. If I do loose leaf, I actually grind it in my spice grinder and put it in a big tea bag. I think more flavor comes out that way. A cheaper, stronger tea might work well here. I've used regular old Twinnings several times and had good success.

Hilary_sp1

almost 3 years ago Hilarybee

I've never heard of Chinese Monastery- is it a type of tea or a cocktail? I hope you give my recipe a try and report back!

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almost 3 years ago susan g

Chinese Monastery is a beautiful tasting tea, with vanilla and some floral ingredient. It comes from St. John's Herb Garden in Maryland. Years ago we sold it and all I've had of it since is memories. EG de la Creme (my mistake below) is the closest I've come. They are romantic without being sweet, just elegant. EG, the original, is a constant, and sometimes I add some Lapsang Souchong to it -- just a pinch, since the smoky taste is potent.

Hilary_sp1

almost 3 years ago Hilarybee

I get an Earl Grey called John Grey Earl Tea from Wilmington Tea company that I really, really like. My local tea shop has a "creamy Earl Grey" that I also like, it seems to have more blue cornflower in it than most other EG tea I've had.

Hilary_sp1

almost 3 years ago Hilarybee

Okay, so it is actually called "Lord John Grey". Here's a link. http://www.oldwilmingtontea...

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almost 3 years ago susan g

I drink "Earl Grey a la Creme" and used to be able to find "Chinese Monastery." They fit this flavor profile, and I'll be delighted to have a summer fizz on the theme.

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almost 3 years ago Midge

How refreshing! Must give this a try.

Hilary_sp1

almost 3 years ago Hilarybee

Thank you sagegreen and gingerroot!

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almost 3 years ago Sagegreen

This does sound delicious!

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

I love earl grey and this sounds delicious!