Ready to knock out those winter colds? Me too.
I am here with the spiciest and richest masala chai and a refreshing pitcher of lemonade. This combination is one of my favorite things that has come out of my crazy food brain in quite a while and I am so excited to share it with you.
This sounds like it should be a spring/summer drink being that it has a lemonade base, but the warmth of the chai makes this concoction perfect for winter. I love that it feels healthful, but not at all medicinal. So much better than drinking oregano oil or *gag* celery juice.
I discovered Bon Appetite’s masala chai recipe about a year ago and fell in love. It tastes just like the authentic Indian chai a good friend of mine always made. Cardamom may not be something you usually keep on hand, but once you try this chai, you will adopt it into your spice cabinet.
Chai has far fewer spices than people normally think. Beyond the cardamom pods, you likely have all the ingredients on hand. Cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, and black tea are the only other components to this spicy favorite.
My favorite thing about this drink is that even though it is served iced, it still feels warming due to the medley of spices.
Though the recipe comes together fairly quickly, it would best best to make this about an hour before you plan on serving. A bit of time in the refrigerator allows the flavors to meld and really takes this tonic to the next level.
Breakfast has had very little appeal to me lately, but keeping a pitcher of this warming tonic in the refrigerator allows me to start my day off with something I actually look forward to!
Because there is always room for a little extra pretty, I topped off my lemonade with a candied lemon slice. I love how they almost look frosted!
I will not claim that this can replace your bags of cough drops or bottles of DayQuil, but I will say that ginger has some pretty incredible health properties that help in several ways to ward off that pesky cold, as well as to reduce stomach discomfort. I am no doctor, and I will drink this simply for the fact that it tastes amazing, but I think we can give ourselves a few pats on the back for taking care of these bodies and, in turn, feel better about all those chocolate truffles we ate yesterday.
Winter never looked so pretty or tasted so good.
And that’s one more lemonade recipe in the books!
serves six / chai recipe loosely adapted from Bon Appetite
1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peel-on and coarsely grated
1, 5-inch cinnamon stick, crushed with the side of a heavy knife
6 1/2 cups filtered water, divided use
6 bags black tea
14 green cardamom pods
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine grated ginger, cinnamon stick, and 3 1/2 cups water in a 3-quart saucepan. Set over medium high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer rapidly for 20 minutes; until the mixture has reduced by a third.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in black tea and cardamom pods. Steep for two minutes. Stir in granulated sugar and strain to remove the spices and tea bags.
Pour the chai into a large pitcher and stir in remaining 3 cups of water and lemon juice. Chill for 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.
Pour over ice and serve!
Cook’s Note: If covered, lemonade can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.