Dirty Chai Toddy

By • December 21, 2010 • 71 Comments



Author Notes: My youngest brother is home from college for the holidays. He mentioned to me that during finals week, all he drank was dirty chai – chai with a shot of espresso. I love chai and I love espresso, so I was pretty sure I would like a dirty chai. Add a shot of bourbon, and you have a hot toddy that will erase the troubles of the day, even if it does not put you to sleep. My chai recipe is inspired by one I found at http://www.veetea.com/site/articles/Masala-Chai-Recipes/, with ingredients I had on hand. Note: While green cardamom pods are typically used, I only had black cardamom pods which have a smokier, more pungent quality. I was curious how it would affect the flavor, and I enjoyed the overall balance with the espresso and bourbon. - gingerrootgingerroot

Food52 Review: This starts out as a fragrant and mildly indulgent chai -- it's made with half-n-half -- and then right before serving you sling in some espresso and bourbon, and suddenly it's a drink with purpose and conviction.A&M

Serves 2

  • For the Chai:
  • 8 ounces half and half
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 black cardamom pods, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 5-6 pink peppercorns, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and flattened with the flat side of a large knife
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 2 sachets of organic whole leaf black tea, preferably Assam
  • ***********************************
  • For the Dirty Toddy:
  • 2 ounces espresso (I used Stumptown Roasters Hairbender)
  • 2 ounces Knob Creek, or other good quality bourbon
  1. Combine half and half, water, spices and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add black tea sachets and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea sachets, strain out spices and split chai between two pre-warmed teacups. Add one ounce of espresso and one ounce of bourbon to each teacup. Sit back and enjoy.
From Our Friends
powered by ZergNet

Comments (71) Questions (2)

Default-small
Default-small
Julistache

6 months ago juliunruly

I found this much too sweet with the 2 tbsp of sugar, and also didn't like the taste of the bourbon with it. However, I love this recipe for plain chai without the coffee or booze (and with half the sugar). Super simple and delicious. Thank you!

Img_1958

6 months ago gingerroot

Thanks for letting me know! Glad you enjoy the chai recipe.

Default-small

9 months ago Amber

Fantastic! Not too sweet and the perfect blend of spice and creaminess with the added bonus of a coffee layer. Do you know if this can be increased without compromising the integrity of the recipe?

Img_1958

9 months ago gingerroot

Hi Amber! Check out JenLeePA's question thread. Thanks for your comment, I'm thrilled you enjoyed it.

Default-small

9 months ago MomofChef

So while wandering though the tea plantations of Sri Lanka, my husband and our young friend would identify mysterious plants and call them "coftea" thinking that coffee and tea together would be pretty funny. Now I will have to make this for them and see how chai and coffee go together. Little did they knowabout dirty chai. I have been making my own chai spices based on my Tibetan nieces recipe for more than a decade. This will be an interesting modification on our standard winter time drink.

Img_1958

9 months ago gingerroot

Hi MomofChef! Somehow your comment snuck right by me. I hope you enjoy this and would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Default-small

about 1 year ago Ruthlessmess

My husband and I are big chai latte fans and loved this. Instead of assam black tea we used a 'spicy chai masala' blend we had bought in a fancy tea shop. Wonderfully fragrant and fulfilling recipe, thankyou. And all the comments helped, otherwise I probably wouldn't have gotten over my negative ideas about mixing tea& coffee

Img_1958

about 1 year ago gingerroot

Thanks so much for letting me know! I'm thrilled you and your husband enjoyed this.

Default-small

about 1 year ago katybeth

how do you get the half and half not to curdle? I made this and could barely strain all the spices out because it got so thick. hmmmmm.......

Img_1958

about 1 year ago gingerroot

Hi katybeth, Sorry to hear that happened. Although it has never happened when I've made it (I keep the heat at the barest simmer and whisk for a minute or two) someone on the question thread attached to this recipe thought it might be the fresh ginger. She suggested getting everything else simmering first, before adding the ginger. I'd love to know if that solves the curdling issue for you.

Default-small

over 1 year ago Katya

Where did you get the mug? I love it and can't stop thinking about it.

Photo_on_11-20-12_at_1.13_am__2

over 1 year ago fayeballs

me too!!!!

Img_1958

over 1 year ago gingerroot

I'd love to know too. It's gorgeous.

1403072_10100277510928105_1019946290_o

9 months ago juleeclip

Looks similar to the faceted boulder mugs from leif shop, and if memory serves me I believe they used to make a low, cappuccino variation... http://www.leifshop.com...

Julistache

7 months ago juliunruly

Katya there's a somewhat similar mug for sale here on Food52 http://food52.com/provisions...

Default-small

over 1 year ago beejay45

Just came across this, and it sounds amazing. I'm going to try subbing my herbal coffee for the espresso. Sad, I know, but I'm allergic to coffee. Our days are warming up, but the nights up here in the Valley are still chilly enough to justify this lovely tipple.

Img_1958

over 1 year ago gingerroot

Thank you beejay45! Apologies for the belated response, I just found your comment. This will definitely keep you warm on a chilly night.

Default-small

over 1 year ago RandyPickles

This reminds me of a spicy, earthy twist on Singaporean coffee!

Img_1958

over 1 year ago gingerroot

Thank you!

3-bizcard

over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I made this tonight, tweaked for one serving. I have to admit I resisted because I never had coffee and tea together. Well, I'm a convert, it was absolutely delicious. I didn't have bourbon so I used cognac that was the only change I made. Between this and boulangere's hot chocolate truffle peppermint drink I am set for the winter. Really loved it!!

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Aw, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed this, sdebrango. I was skeptical about the coffee-tea combo at first as well, but after a taste I was hooked. I bet cognac would be good, I'll have to try that!

Default-small

over 2 years ago Jenniferino

so good! i used only 1 tbsp turbinado sugar and it was perfect :)

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.

Me

over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh wow! I totally missed this! Huge congratulations on your wildcard win - well deserved!!!! I was looking at hot toddy recipes and am totally on this one. Happy Holidays gingerroot!!!

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, ChezSuzanne! I hope you enjoy this if you give it a whirl. Happy Holidays to you and yours as well!!

Dethbird

over 2 years ago dethbird

I drank just the bourbon part. Does that count? :) just kidding
This sounds fantastic

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, dethbird! Personally, I love the bourbon part.

Image

over 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm sorry it took me so long to write you--congratulations on the wildcard win! I had never heard of dirty chai before, but I'm dying to try this!

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Hi drbabs, No apologies - thank you so much! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it!

Img_7818

over 2 years ago EmilyC

Congrats, gingerroot, on your wildcard win! This looks like the perfect cold weather pick-me-up!

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, EmilyC!

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This is really good! Not to sweet, not too strong, just perfect! Cheers!

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

I'm thrilled that you tried this, and it means a lot to me that you enjoyed it!

Default-small

over 2 years ago Lisa Hyde-Mills

Hi, What is half & half ? I'm guessing milk of some kind? I haven't seen it in Australia.
Cheers
LIsa

Gator_cake

over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Half milk & half cream.

Scan0004

over 2 years ago susan g

I made this at 3 AM last night, and drank just the chai. In the morning I added the expresso. So good either way. Eventually, the bourbon. Wonderful how the Wildcard makes treasures like this pop up.

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, susan g! So glad you enjoyed the Dirty Chai and hope you like the toddy version too.

Ozoz_profile

almost 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congrats ginger root. It looks wonderful and is beautifully captured

Nicole Franzen/Photo composer/A&M - that photo is worthy of high praise. Simply, stunning. I love the hint of grey wool in the background, the hands wrapped around the cup to receive warmth and the gorgeousness of the cup itself.

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, KB. I could not agree more about the photo - it is gorgeous!

Me

almost 3 years ago wssmom

YAY, gingerroot!!

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, wssmom!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

Cheers and Congratulations, gingerroot! :)

Img_1958

over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, lapadia! It was a terrific surprise.