Like squeaky cheese curds and a raspberry kringle, Blue Moon ice cream is a staple in the cultural diet of Wisconsin. Some even believe that the bright blue summer treat, which is often described as tasting like Froot Loops, was created in Milwaukee — but the exact origins are unknown.
In 2020 before the pandemic hit, Colectivo designed a drink based on the ice cream, which has finally made its way onto the menu.
Lake Effect’s Ben Binversie made his way down to Colectivo to meet the café chain’s drink innovation specialist Emma Cowen to talk about the Blue Moon Tea Latte.
“The inspiration for it was butterfly pea flower tea,” says Cowen. “That tea can be either blue or purple based on the acidity level that it comes into contact with.”
As she began to experiment, the color of the tea began to remind Cowen of her love for Blue Moon ice cream. But her desire to recreate the ice cream’s flavor led her to a number of questions.
“How do you build such a unique flavor? What is that flavor profile? What goes into it?” she had to ask herself.
Through trial and error, eventually she realized the key to making the Blue Moon Tea Latte — raspberry.
“Raspberry is the flavor that makes this drink taste like Blue Moon ice cream,” she explains.
The final recipe came to include butterfly pea flower tea, raspberry syrup, milk and mini-vanilla marshmallows to top it off. The drink can be made hot or cold.
Is this the first Blue Moon latte ever? Like the origins of the ice cream flavor, the world may never know for sure. If you want to compare the drink to the sweet Smurf colored ice cream for yourself, it’s available in Colectivo Cafés.