That was before I got a text message from my good friend, Jasmin (“the Constant Traveler”), grumbling about the fact that she couldn’t find any cafes in Zurich that would make her favourite warm, seasonal drink.
So, Jas, this one is for you.
A brief wikipedia search tells me that the warm, tea-based London Fog was invented in… Vancouver. What? No, that can’t be right. Is that why I find them so ubiquitous? Does no one else on the internet know what I’m talking about right now?? Are you all picturing COATS?
Wikipedia also tells me (and surely everything on the internet is always thoroughly fact checked and always correct), that in Scotland, the drink is called a “Vancouver Fog.” Now this, I find even harder to believe. Not because it doesn’t corroborate perfectly with the Vancouver-origins story but for the fact that… do people in Scotland ever even think about Vancouver? Do we even register?
Maybe it’s one of those things where I’m ‘too close’ to appreciate the fact that I live in a world class city but also… really?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Vancouver. I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that anyone from anyone else would ever… think about us.
Maybe that’s just the byproduct of living nestled right up against the American border. American TV shows and movies are constantly filmed here, but the city always stands in for somewhere ‘more exciting.’ Always. (see video)
It’s given me something of a Canadian modesty complex, to be honest. It’s fooled me into thinking nothing exciting or glamorous ever happens in this city (a city which routinely tops the charts for Most Liveable in the World) (along with Zurich- hey Jas, you’ve got both bases covered!).
(on a side note, I am starting to realize none of my argument makes sense. We have Nanaimo Bars, and what movies or glamorous TV shows have ever taken place in Nanaimo? Movies that weren’t paid for exclusively by the Canadian Government. Yeah. None, I bet.)
Earl Grey Tea. Warm, steamed milk. A hint of vanilla. It’s the coziest, non-coffee drink you’ll carry around with you this season.
A traditional London Fog is made with regular milk and a shot of vanilla syrup. I’ve added some substitutions below that work just as well if you’re vegan (almond milk) or aren’t a fan of artificial syrups (Chelsea’s unbeatable recipe for Vanilla Honey!).
|London Fog|| || |
- Earl Grey tea
- Steamed milk or vanilla almond milk
- Vanilla syrup or vanilla honey (see below)
- Vanilla Honey
- 1 cup raw honey
- 4 tsp vanilla bean paste*
- To make the vanilla honey, combine honey and vanilla bean paste until combined; store in an airtight container.
- Boil and steep a batch of Earl Grey tea. If you are making a single serving, a single teabag should suffice for this. If you are making a whole batch, use two teabags for a large teapot full. Pour tea into cups and stir a small spoonful of vanilla honey or vanilla syrup into each, until dissolved.
- Heat milk and, using either a hand frother**, whisk or specialty milk steamer (so fancy!), steam the milk until very frothy. We're going to use a cappuccino method with this- using a large spoon, hold the bulk of the stiff foam lying on the top back, and pour the soft, warm milk from underneath into the individual mugs. Add slightly more milk to each cup than you would for your regular tea. Spoon the stiffer foam on top of the tea and serve immediately.
** Hand frothers can be purchased cheaply at most kitchen supply stores (or IKEA!). They're a cheap alternative to pricey cappuccino makers and are really handy to have on hand for specialty drinks.