Duke of Earl

I went to college in Washington.  It is always wet there.  It’s a misconception that it’s always raining there.  It doesn’t always rain, it’s just always wet and usually drizzling.  When I have a break between classes, and it’s wet, and I have to study, I just want a hot drink.  The coffee shop closest to my classes was a beautiful glass building where it was always warm and you could watch the rain drip down the sides.  It was the best place to study, chat, get coffee, or enjoy the weather.  I discovered the drink I’m about to introduce when the person in front of me ordered it, and I decided to try it.  It’s called a duke of earl.  Traditionally, it’s made with steamed milk, earl gray tea, and vanilla flavoring.

This drink is amazing, but I decided to spice it up a little bit by figuring out how to make it alcohol (big surprise, right?).  The key was using vanilla vodka instead of vanilla syrup.  Soooo delicious and comforting.  I’m going to give you the recipe for the traditional duke of the earl and a hard duke of earl.  Both are perfect for cold and wet days when you need to relax or de-stress.

When I decided to make this drink myself, I learned how to make my own steamed milk with foam.  All you need is an immersion blender.  Heat the milk on the stove until it begins to steam and then turn the immersion blender on low and blend for about a minute.  It tastes just like a coffee house steamed milk, but you can add as much foam as you want.

Duke of Earl

Active Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Duke of Earl


  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 bag of earl gray tea (I use Twinning's)
  • 1 shot of vanilla vodka OR vanilla syrup (found at World Market in the coffee section) to taste


  1. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it begins to steam. Froth using an immersion blender until there are lots of bubbles (longer is better).
  2. Place the tea bag into a mug and pour the milk over using a spoon to hold back the bubbles. Add the vanilla vodka or the vanilla syrup. Mix with a spoon.
  3. Use a spoon to add as much foam as you want.
  4. Drink up and don't forget to go for second helpings!

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