It’s hot. After a couple relatively cool days and grey skies, thanks to a storm named Amelia that passed south of Hawaii, we’re back to typical summer weather: Sunny and hot. Now, that’s generally not a problem on these tropical islands conveniently situated along a stretch of ocean that enjoys nearly year-round breezes. Just pull up a beach chair under a palm tree and let the trade winds make life pleasant. But apparently, Amelia’s sucked up all the wind, because it’s so still that not even the chickens are scratching the lawn for bugs. Hoppy and her latest batch of chicks have retreated under a bush. Now, I know 90 degrees may seem like cool to some on the mainland these days. But I don’t have air conditioning. In my home office, I’ve got the ceiling fan cranked to high, but it’s not keeping the cranky out of me. So, I’ve retreated to the lanai with Arnold Palmer—the drink—made with vanilla tea that I picked up a couple weeks ago at Hawaiian Vanilla Company.
Here’s my recipe.
• Hawaiian Vanilla Vineyard Blend tea
• 1 cup simple syrup, recipe follows (1 cup sugar dissolved in boiling water)
• 1 cup lemon juice
• 1 lemon, zest
• 2 cups ice cubes (or, in my case, because we don’t have ice cubes in my house—don’t ask—frozen strawberries)
1. Steep pot of tea for five minutes. Place in refrigerator to cool.
2. Blend simple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest and ice cubes/strawberries.
3. Add ice cubes to a large glass and top with the tea. Sweeten to taste with “lemonade.” It won’t take much.
4. Let the cranky dissolve.