Archive for Beverages

Homemade Chai Concentrate

4 1/2 cups water
8 bags black tea – I used orange pekoe
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split in half (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
1/2 cup sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you like your chai)
1 – 3-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
10 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 whole star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)

1 small square section of cheesecloth, approximately 6″ square (or a good strainer)
kitchen twine

Prepare the teabags by removing any tags. Place the spices, vanilla bean and orange zest in the cheesecloth and tie shut with kitchen twine. To make the pouch more compact, leave out the cinnamon sticks and simply tie them together with another piece of twine — or skip the cheesecloth, add all the spices directly to the pan and strain later.

Add the water and sugar to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat strain the concentrate through a sieve or just remove the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. At this point if you want a bit more sweetness you can add a tablespoon of honey, stir to dissolve. I don’t always do this, but it is a really nice touch. Additionally, if you didn’t use a whole vanilla bean, add your vanilla extract now. Stir to combine.

Allow the mixture to cool before pouring it into an airtight jar or container. This amount fits perfectly into a 1-quart mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Yields: approximately 4 cups.

To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk. Heat for a warm beverage or serve over ice for a cold drink.



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Hot Buttered Rum

4 oz boiling water
2 oz dark rum
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Dissolve the sugar into boiling water in a mug. Add rum and butter and stir. Garnish with nutmeg on top.

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