This lavender earl grey blackberry ice cream float is our summer drink mascot here on the homestead. For starters, there's ice cream involved (no brainer) and, even more importantly, it was inspired by the organic lavender that we grow right here on our land - complete with bitter black tea, infused simple syrups, organic blackberries, and an unending supply of sparkling water to make it effervescent. We'll be drinking my float variation of the fruity bitter black tea soda for the next few months to incite perpetual déja vu of the most epic Colorado summer.
I puréed organic blackberries with bitter concentrated tea and an herbal lavender-infused simple syrup, and mixed it with sparkling water for a summer soda to pour atop scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. Lavender enhances the earl grey notes, helping them both stand up against the tart blackberries. Without both, the flavors get muddled, but together, you can easily pick out the floral, bitter tea, sweet fruit, and coconut flavors in each sip.
These lavender earl grey blackberry ice cream floats are a symbol of my hot summer days at home with our precious baby girls - Maija Rose (age 3) and Raelynn (age 1). A strong dose of caffeine to get me through the day, lavender for a splash of refined rebellion, and bright berry tartness blended into the bitter herbal fruit syrup that's fizzed up with soda and poured over vanilla bean ice cream.
Lavender Simple Syrup
- ¾ cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon culinary dried lavender*
Bitter Earl Grey Tea
- 1½ cups boiling water
- 5 earl grey tea bags (or 2½ tablespoons loose earl grey tea)
- 2 cups blackberries
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3 cups sparkling water
- 1½ pints vegan vanilla bean ice cream (or your favorite vanilla ice cream)
- Prepare the simple syrup. Heat the sugar, water, and dried lavender in a small saucepan over medium heat, just until the sugar melts, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup and let cool.
- Brew the tea. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, pressing excess liquid from the bags, and let cool.
- Purée the lavender simple syrup, earl grey tea, blackberries, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Strain the puree to remove any seeds. You should have about 3-3½ cups of puree.
- In a large pitcher just before serving, slowly and carefully add the sparkling water to the blackberry puree (it should foam up a lot!).
- Place 2-3 scoops of ice cream in each of six large glasses and pour blackberry soda over the top. Add a splash more sparkling water to add a little foam to the top and serve immediately.
*You can purchase our organic culinary lavender right here on the website.