Iced Matcha Latte

Fragrant matcha gets a dose of summer flavor when serve chilled with a drizzle of syrup. If you opt for the Ice Syrup route, check out icesyrup.com where you can see where to pick up the unique, local ingredient.

matcha latte

Iced Matcha Latte

1/4 cup hot (not boiling) water
1/2 teaspoon good quality matcha tea
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut syrup or ice syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage or other neutral nondairy milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 6 ice cubes

Put the hot water in a small bowl. Add the matcha and whisk until smooth. Stir in the coconut syrup or ice syrup until it dissolves. Pour the mixture into a glass. Add the nondairy milk, vanilla extract, and ice cubes. Mix well. Serve chilled.

Note: Both syrups lend a different flavor to the drink, so be sure to mark your preference before you pour it in. Give it a taste and sample as you add it for your own level of sweetness.

Strawberry Ginger Lemonade Spritzer

When strawberries are at this peak, you have to take advantage of them in every way possible — including in your drinks. In the late summer, try blueberries or peaches instead.

strawberry lemonade spritzer 1

Strawberry-Ginger Lemonade Spritzer

1 cup water
1/2 cup agave nectar
5 strips of lemon peel, about 2 inches in length
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) fresh strawberries, dehulled
3 1/2 medium lemons, peeled (pith also removed)
8 1/2 cups (2 litre bottle) low-sodium club soda, chilled

Put the water, agave nectar, lemon peel and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat and cook until reduced to half, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside, cooling slightly.

Meanwhile, put the strawberries, whole lemons, and about 1 cup (240 ml) of the club soda in a blender. Blend until smooth. Strain the agave nectar mixture, discarding the peel and ginger. Add the mixture to the blender. Blend until smooth and well combined. To serve, either mix club soda and the puree in a pitcher, or fill glasses with half puree and half club soda. Use as much club soda to your taste. Serve cold.

Vegan Egg Nog

Just like cooked egg nog, this version starts with a custard base then is loaded with flavor and thick coconut milk. If desired, add rum in lieu of the extract, but keep in mind it won’t be as thick.

Vegan Egg Nog

3 cups nondairy milk
1 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch salt
1/2 cup agave nectar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sorghum flour
1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator (I like Thai Kitchen)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 teaspoons rum extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nutmeg, for serving

Put 2 1/2 cups of the nondairy milk, the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

Put the remaining nondairy milk, agave nectar, cornstarch, and flour in a large measuring cup. Whisk well. Pour about 1/2 a cup of the warm nondairy milk into the agave nectar mixture. Mix well. Pour the mixture into the pot with the simmering nondairy milk. Bring to medium heat, continually whisking until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Once thick, remove from heat and whisk for 30 seconds vigorously. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Cover with a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the mixture. This will prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until it has set, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

After the custard has set, take the coconut milk out of the refrigerator. Pour it into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape in the custard mixture, as well as the rum and vanilla extract, adding rum extract to taste. Blend until completely smooth.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving, reblending just before serving. Pour into serving glasses and dust with nutmeg.

Just a note: I felt the cloves could have been omitted, it was a little strong at first. But once it sat for a few hours, the flavors came together and it was delicious! It didn’t stay as thick after a day or two in the fridge.