This easy simple syrup recipe is flavored with 'chai' (also known as 'masala chai' or 'chai tea'). Chai spices commonly include ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and black pepper, but can also include other aromatic spices, such as licorice-like fennel, sweet coriander seeds and soothing vanilla.
After making chai-flavored simple syrup, you can use it to flavor and sweeten iced drinks and hot drinks, or to add flavor to baked goods and other sweets.
- 12 green cardamom pods
- Optional: 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 tablespoons ginger (fresh, chopped)
- Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C.
- Lightly crush the cardamom and black pepper.
- Place all the spices except the ginger and vanilla on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan, and toast until very aromatic (about five minutes).
- Place the spices, ginger, vanilla, sugar and water into a small pot on medium heat.
- Bring to a boil then simmer gently for five to ten minutes, stirring often. The longer you simmer the mixture, the stronger the spice flavors will become, but be careful not to make the syrup too thick or it will be difficult to use and may crystallize when cool.
- Strain the syrup through a fine meshed sieve and pour into a very clean jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Keep refrigerated. Has a shelf life of about six months. To extend the shelf life, mix in about one ounce of vodka as the syrup cools.
You can use this syrup in a wide variety of drinks, including cocktails, milk steamers, dirty chais, other chai drinks, ice creams, cakes and other baked goods.
To make a chai-flavored milk steamer, follow this basic steamer recipe, using about one tablespoon syrup per 1 1/4 cups milk. Similarly, for one serving of dirty chai, use one to two tablespoons of syrup.