I co-wrote a post a couple of months ago describing my feelings towards the pumpkin spice latte, (I hate it), and at the end, I mentioned my favorite warm drink — a chai latte.
Give me all the chai, please.
Winter is here, Christmas is just around the corner and the smell of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg complete my holiday cheer. So, when my husband came back from a work trip and mentioned that he had an adult chai latte, I knew I HAD to master this drink. A spicy warm drink made even more warming with a bit a bourbon, sign me up.
Not only will it keep you warm, but let’s be honest, if we want to stay jolly over the holidays, we all need an adult drink here and there.
This recipe did not happen overnight, but luckily I found that there are a lot of ways to make it your own. Add more cinnamon if you like it, remove some black pepper if you don’t like the spice or ‘heat’ of the drink, more or less bourbon—do your thing! However, there is one thing I need to say about this recipe, whole milk is a must.
I know what you may be thinking, whole milk equals more calories, but I know y’all are about to get down on some holiday cookies, pies, cakes, and three servings of that one really good side dish that you can’t say, ‘no’ to. I say all of that to remind you that your pants are going to fit a little tighter after this holiday season anyway, so use the dang whole milk. It just makes things better, creamier, richer. I’m not saying you can’t use 2% or skim, but the outcome won’t be as good.
2 cups whole milk
2-4 bags of chai tea (I have used two brands: Twinnings and Tzao)
1/8 cup light brown sugar
2-3 cinnamon sticks
Pinch each freshly ground peppercorn, ground nutmeg and cloves
1-2 ounces of bourbon (I like Maker’s Mark for this recipe)
- Heat milk in a medium sauce pan until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat.
- Place tea bags in the milk along with sugar, cinnamon sticks, peppercorn, nutmeg and cloves and let stand for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags and rewarm the chai over medium heat. Add bourbon and serve hot. The cinnamon sticks can be placed for a drink topper or removed before serving.
Optional: Sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg over finished drink or throw some whip cream on top!
Notes: The amount of tea bags you choose will affect the strength of chai flavor and, of course, the amount of bourbon you use will affect how strong the drink is. For some of you with your crazy in-laws in town for the holidays, you may need about 6 ounces.
Now all you need is a pair of comfortable pajamas, some slippers, a warm and cozy blanket and some good company to enjoy this drink.