[All images in this post are courtesy Rachna Hukmani.]

Anyone who knows me knows that I love chai as much as I love whiskey. So naturally, it was only a matter of time before I mixed the two.

I’m not going to waste any time and get right into what you should try the next time you’re craving yourself a tea and whiskey fix, both at the same time! Here are my top five recipes for chai/whiskey cocktails that are a must-try — I say you get started now!

[Read Related: Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice—What’s In Your Chai?]

cocktails

5. Hot Single Malt

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon loose black tea
  • sugar to taste
  • 2 ounces Famous Grouse Blended Scotch (choose a scotch that is slightly smoky but not too much)

Heat all ingredients, except for the Scotch, in two cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Strain heated chai into a cup. While still hot, add the scotch.

While it is customary to add milk to chai, I would recommend trying this without milk. Or using non-dairy milk like almond or cashew milk. Add sparingly, so the milk doesn’t overpower the whiskey taste.

4. Char and Chai

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon loose black tea
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (which you’ll smoke with a flame)
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 oz Hudson Baby Bourbon

Add tea, nutmeg, and allspice in two cups of water. Bring to a boil to bring out the flavor. Allow to cool. Strain and pour into a cocktail or coupe glass over ice. Pour in Hudson Baby Bourbon.

Take the cinnamon sticks and place them on a plate. Using a lighter or pastry torchlight, smoke the cinnamon for 60 seconds and cover aluminum foil to maintain smokiness. Leave for 60-90 seconds. If you don’t have a lighter or a pastry torch, you can either skip the cinnamon step or use the Indian method of smoking food.

Then take the smoked/charred cinnamon sticks and stir the cocktail. This will give the cocktail a sweet charred cinnamon taste. Discard cinnamon sticks after stirring. This combination goes well with Hudson Baby Bourbon which tends to taste quite woody with a sweet end note (just like a smoked cinnamon stick!).

3. Sweet Chai O’ Mine

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 7-8 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • orange peel
  • honey
  • 1 tablespoon loose black tea
  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Heat cardamon, tea and cloves in a saucepan with two cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add honey while still hot. Once blended with honey, let it cool. Strain and add to glass. Add rosewater. Add this mix and the bourbon into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and serve in a cocktail glass. Add orange peel as garnish. This is an Indian twist on the classic American southern tradition of sweet tea and bourbon.

[Read Related: 5 Healthy Hacks for Your Booze This Summer]

2. Ginger Me This

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ghee syrup
  • 1 tablespoon black loose tea
  • 2 oz Four Roses (Yellow Label)

Heat ginger and tea in a saucepan with two cups of water. Bring to a boil. Strain and pour into a cup. Empty saucepan. Then mix equal parts sugar and water into the saucepan to create a syrup. Once ready, blend in ghee into the syrup. While still hot, add one tablespoon of this into tea. Add Four Roses and stir. Serve hot to fully enjoy this ginger/ghee concoction.

1. Spice Squared

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon loose black tea
  • 10 cloves
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 2 oz Rittenhouse Rye

Heat all ingredients, except for the Rye whiskey, in two cups of water. Bring to a boil. Strain heated chai into a cup. While still hot add rye and mix.

This cocktail can be hot or allowed to cool and served over ice. This mix is spicy. If you’re feeling adventurous, use one small full red chili cut into small rings and add three of them into the cocktail.

Happy mixing. Send me a photo of your creation!


Rachna Hukmani lives in NYC and is very passionate about writing about her Greek/Indian upbringing. The youngest child of 5 siblings, she has a lot of witty anecdotes to share and loves storytelling. In fact, she is the owner/founder of Whiskey Stories. Having worked in the whiskey industry for several years, she is well-versed in the art of whiskey making, barrel aging, and mixology. Whiskey Stories is more than a whiskey tasting class. It is a sensorial immersive experience that combines her passion for storytelling as well as pairing obscure whiskies with other artists talents ranging anywhere from authors & musicians to actors & comedians. It is unlike any other whiskey class in NYC! (Bio Photo Credit: © Katarina Kojic Photography)

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