The rich, spicy warmth of chai is a perfect drink for a cold winter's day — and it's made even more warming with the addition of a bourbon like Maker's Mark, whose notes of clove, vanilla, and caramel marry perfectly with the ingredients in the chai. This recipe is based on a chai developed by Saveur.com contributor Judy Haubert, who makes hers with almond milk; feel free to substitute whole milk instead.
Enlarge Image Credit: MacKenzie SmithSERVES 8
IngredientsFOR THE CHAI:
8 bags black tea, paper and string removed
8 green cardamom pods, crushed
8 whole allspice berries, crushed
8 whole black peppercorns, crushed
8 whole cloves
3 star anise
2 whole cinnamon sticks
½ whole nutmeg, chopped
2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds and pod reserved
6 cups hot water
6 cups unsweetened almond milk
⅓ cup honey or agave
1 cup spice-forward bourbon, like Maker's Mark
Directions1. Make the chai: In a 4-quart saucepan, combine tea, spices, ginger, and vanilla bean seeds and pod with 6 cups hot water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and add almond milk and honey or agave, whisking to combine. Return to a simmer, remove from heat, and allow to steep 10-15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer, pressing down on solids to extract flavors.
2. Transfer the chai to a heat-proof serving vessel (like an earthenware pitcher) and stir in bourbon. Alternately, ladle chai into 8 individual mugs and portion 1 oz. bourbon into each.