Chai teas are one of my favorite warm drinks (in third place after coffee and Earl Grey tea). In the summer I like it cold with a shot of espresso, but I thought since its cold and gross out I would replace the espresso with a shot of something else, instead! My husband has been on a bit of a bourbon kick lately, and so it just seemed the logical choice. Plus that nice warm feeling you get with a shot of whiskey really compliments a nice warm drink, don't you think? The key to this drink is to use a good quality bourbon with a rich and smooth finish. If you use a spice-forward brand I think it really overpowers the chai flavors of the tea.
Sure, you could use a chai flavored tea bag, but I love using fresh whole spices - it really causes the flavors of the spices to be pure and vibrant. I also decided to be a rebel and forgo the typical ceylon or assam tea and instead replaced it with my beloved earl grey tea. I think Earl Grey works beautifully here as the bergamot in the tea pairs gorgeously with the spices added.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: beverage alcohol Christmas Thanksgiving fall winter
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 4 tsp good quality earl grey loose leaf tea (or 4 teabags)
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 4 whole allspice berries
- 4 whole pink peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch fresh ground nutmeg
- 1" piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups almond milk
- 3TBSP honey
- 1/2 cup Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Using a spice grinder, grind together the cardamom, allspice, peppercorns, cloves, and star anise until roughly chopped. They don't need to be perfectly ground.
Using a sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.
In a medium saucepan, combine the chopped spices, tea, cinnamon stick, the vanilla bean, and water.
Heat to a boil and then remove from heat.
Whisk in the almond milk and honey.
Allow to steep for 15 minutes.
Stir in the bourbon and strain out the spices.
Portion into 4 glasses and enjoy!