Thursday, December 13, 2018

Winter Tea Cocktail: Chai Spiced Hot Toddy

It's the time of year when the activities just don't stop and things get nutty. Parties are in full swing, we're squeezing in time to decorate, bake, and shop on already crazy busy days. Don't forget those wintertime sniffles and coughs that start to creep in. You know what helps with all of those things? A tea cocktail. A chai spiced hot toddy, to be exact.

I love a good hot toddy. It's soothing, warming, and great for all the sniffles and wintertime vibes. A hot toddy is great to soothe coughs and colds, and just makes you feel all warm and cozy inside. Add in black tea and masala chai spices and it becomes perfect for a festive gathering. I wanted this drink to have all the elements of a classic hot toddy, but with added masala chai elements. So all the good stuff, plus more good stuff.

For my Chai Spiced Hot Toddy I'm using some of the spices found in a classic masala chai, but I'm omitting the milk, and adding honey and lemon. I was a bit concerned that the lemon wouldn't work with the cardamom, but it blends together quite nicely.

Tips to consider:
-If you're looking to save time, this can be made with a good masala chai blend, either loose or bagged. 
-You can sub in sugar or maple syrup into this recipe, but honey gives it that hot toddy feel.
-I like using whiskey in my toddy, but bourbon, scotch, or rum also work nicely.
-You can switch the lemon to an orange, which works nicely with the spices. I'd recommend a using rum if you do.
-This can easily be made as a decaf drink by using rooibos. Or if you prefer you can omit the tea altogether. But that's just crazy.

Tea Happiness' Winter Cocktail: Chai Spiced Hot Toddy
Makes 1 tea cocktail

8 oz. water
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and smashed
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1.5 tsp black tea or 1 tea bag (I like using Assam or Keemun)
2 oz. whiskey (or bourbon, rum, or scotch)
2+ tsp honey, to taste
2+ teaspoon lemon juice, also to taste

lemon slices and peel for garnish

In a small saucepan bring the water to a boil and add the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Let this gently simmer for 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the tea and steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain this into a mug and stir in the honey until dissolved. Add in whiskey and lemon juice. Garnish with lemon, and find a cozy spot to start sipping.

This is the perfect drink to shake off the day or give yourself a warm tea hug. Wouldn't it be perfect while sitting by a fire, chatting with friends? You can make this drink without alcohol and it'll still be extremely comforting and warming. Or if you'd prefer something with a bit of chocolate, be sure to check out my masala chai hot chocolate recipe.

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