The summer menu at Dublin’s Vice Coffee (no relation to the media conglomerate) is marked by a standout approach to chilled drinks: Earl Grey Iced Tea. And bear in mind, the season for iced coffees and teas in Ireland does not match the same standard as it would in other climates—it only takes a slight incline towards 19 degrees Celsius for the whole city to declare a micro-holiday, schools to break early, and whole offices of people to decamp to local patches of green to soak up the rays.
Amidst these celebrations of the sun, Dubliners can be cured from the balmy and humid days across the Irish summer by a treat that will at once perk you up and cool you right down.
Though iced teas are still relatively uncommon in Dublin city, Vice Coffee pioneered its Earl Grey Iced Tea last summer to much success, and in many ways, paved the way for other coffee shops to begin offering their own iced drinks. The recipe is simple and deliberate—it respects each ingredient uniquely as well as the distinct balance required to achieve a combination that is both refreshing, sweet, and aromatic.
How do they make it?
Combine over ice:
• 30 milliliters brown sugar simple syrup (one part brown sugar to one part water)
• 10 milliliters fresh lemon juice
• 500 millilters Earl Grey infusion (see below)
Shake to a froth in a cocktail shaker, and serve, again over ice.
At Vice, the flair of the presentation is part of the drink’s appeal—the showmanship and the sound of ice against metal can attract customers’ attention to the bar, where the signature tune of a cocktail shaker isn’t always the sound folks expect to hear.
Waterloo Tea in Cardiff supplies Vice’s Earl Grey organic tea blend. The leaves are dark and almost soapy in their dense aroma.
To make an Earl Grey infusion using Waterloo’s tea or one of comparable quality, brew for fifteen minutes—you’ll achieve an earthy brown coloration and keep the aromatics in place, but it won’t be so long that the brew becomes astringent. Waterloo’s suggested infusion is one gram per 100 milliliters of water (at 90 degrees Celsius) for three minutes (Vice scales this up to size). The infusion is then cooled to room temperature to encourage clarity, and then poured over ice when served—this prevents any cloudiness creeping in.
This considered, delicious approach to tea makes Vice Coffee’s Earl Grey Iced Tea a uniquely delightful treat for the Dublin summer months—but be quick about it. The menu changes seasonally and it won’t be long before Ireland’s climate returns to its regular chill.
Sarah Maria Griffin (@griffski) is a writer based in Dublin. She is the author of the acclaimed memoir Not Lost and has contributed to The Rumpus, Midnight Breakfast, and The Tusk. Read more Sarah Maria Griffin on Sprudge.