There’s nothing more relaxing than this chai, which starts by toasting crushed spices for a deep, fragrant richness. The base of whole cardamom pods and fresh ginger is complemented by cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and peppercorns. Steeped with milk, honey, and black tea, just a few minutes on the stovetop will have your entire home smelling wonderfully festive.
My love affair with cardamom has been well documented on this blog, from cardamom chai scones to cardamom honey pancake syrup to cardamom spiced chestnuts. I don’t think I even knew what cardamom was until a few years ago and now I can’t stop adding it to everything. Halal and Middle Eastern grocers usually have fresh whole cardamom pods at a very reasonable price.
Just one more recipe left to complete this 12 Drinks of Christmas series! I hope this has sparked all sorts of new ideas for your holiday celebrations. Be sure to check back on Saturday for a sparkling sipper that’s absolutely perfect for both Christmas morning brunch and New Year’s Eve toasting!
I can’t imagine a more perfect pairing for this drink than my favorite vanilla chai cardamom scones. They’d be the coziest treats to nibble on Christmas morning while you dig into stocking and unwrap presents.
I’m going to treat myself to a quiet evening wrapped in a soft blanket with a new book and a mug of chai, and I heartily recommend you do the same!
Cardamom Honey Chai
- 2 T. cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 small whole nutmeg
- 1 t. whole cloves
- 1/2 t. black peppercorns
- 3 inches fresh ginger peeled & thinly sliced
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 T. honey more to taste
- 1/4 cup loose black tea
- Lightly crush cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and peppercorns with a mortar & pestle or flat side of a knife.
- Toast crushed spices & ginger slices in a medium pot over low heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add water and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the spices.
- Stir in milk & honey and return to a simmer. Add tea, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine sieve into mugs and serve hot.