12.13.2012

SuperFancy Spiced Chai


When I lived in San Diego my group of friends LOVED to drink. Myself, I am more of a glass of wine…maybe one Gin & Tonic kind of girl. I’ve never had so much to drink that I am hung over the next day and honestly the first time I had a whole alcoholic beverage (or two) to myself was at my little sister’s 21st birthday in Las Vegas.

So whenever this group of friends would have me meet them at whatever dive bar or craft cocktail counter was “in-the-now” I would go and demurely order a hot chocolate. Naughty in a different way, the a-little-extra-junk-in-the-trunk-but-still-keeping-your-reputation way. Let’s just say that I learned that bartenders do not like to be confused with baristas, and they are LESS than accommodating when the drink comes with whipped cream. In the three years that I lived in San Diego, I got lucky once. A sweet beachside bartender gave me a cup of Swiss-Miss from his own private reserve. You have a friend for life dear man, for life.

One of winter’s most redeeming qualities is Hot Chocolate (besides Christmas, of course)! Well any warm drinks really, I mean this all just MY opinion… but I am always right.

Here are a few warming winter drinks that are in such heavy rotation in my kitchen they have come to replace meals.

To make my super fancy spiced chai simmer the following spices in about 3 cups of milk (almond is my favorite and soy would be good too.) After about twenty minutes, and once the flavors have incorporated, pour through a strainer and stir in 2 tablespoons or so of honey or more until you reach your desired sweetness. A spoon or two of coconut milk would also be a welcome addition if you happen to be feeling for something a little more exotic.

1 Tablespoon Each:
Cinnamon Bark
Black Tea Leaves 
Allspice
Lavender
Fennel Seeds
Candied Ginger
Peppercorns 
Green Cardamom
Cloves 
Star Anise 
and
1 Vanilla Pod 



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