A recipe for Chai Tea concentrate as well as a recipe for a Dirty Chai Bourbon Cocktail
I’ve been looking around for THE chai tea recipe. But, I’ve come to believe that everyone and their Indian Grandma has their own special recipe. So, I finally decided to just choose one and go with it the best I could. (I found this recipe thanks to my friend Adrienne) My store didn’t have star anise, so I skipped that. Fresh ginger would go bad in my house, so I went with dried. I think you could totally cut back on the sugar in this, but for now, I’ll leave that the way I found it.
This was delish! Fresh and orangey. Fruity and peppy. Spicy and tasty. Yum!
Then, to make it even better, I made it into a Dirty Chai Cocktail. Even better! But, wait, what’s a dirty chai? Well, my not-caffeinated-enough-friends, a Dirty Chai or Red Eye Chai is God’s gift to the chai tea. Ok, maybe that’s a bit much, but it is delish. And, when you can’t decide between your soy chai and a mocha latte, a dirty chai is the clear winner!
It’s a shot of espresso mixed into a chai tea. Now, you could have this as a morning beverage without the bourbon and Kahlua, but where’s the fun in that? (BTW, I’m pretty sure that this is my new favorite cocktail!)
Chai Tea Concentrate
Makes 4 cups
Adapted from NPR
4 1/2 cups water
10 black tea bags
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
7 whole cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tea bags, spices and orange zest. Stir to combine, and remove from heat. Let steep 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove tea bags, and strain out the spices with a fine mesh sieve. Add brown sugar, honey and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week (if it lasts that long).
Mix concentrate with milk of your choice (dairy, soy, almond, etc.) in about a half-half ratio. You may adjust more or less concentrate to your taste. Chai may be enjoyed warm or iced.
Dirty Chai Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail
Adapted from Food 52
1 cup chai concentrate
1 cup milk (any kind from dairy half & half, skim, soy, to almond or rice)
1 ½ ounce espresso or strong coffee
1 ½ ounce good bourbon like Bookers or Knob Creek
1 ½ ounce mocha Kahlua
Mix chai concentrate with milk. Add in espresso, bourbon, and Kahlua. Enjoy as a warm beverage or shaken with ice.