Vanilla Bean Chai Syrup

January 12, 2014
1 Ratings
Photo by buttermeupbk
  • Makes about 1 3/4 cups
Author Notes

When we enter firmly into the stretch of January, February, and March, I am always on the lookout to add new recipes to my cold winter month warm beverage repertoire. When I came across a recipe for chai syrup in a Oregon newspaper, I couldn't wait to give it a go. The process couldn't be easier - mix sweetened condensed milk with practically all the contents of your spice cabinet - but when a spoonful or two is stirred into a hot cup of black tea the result is spicy and milky-sweet. It will last in the fridge for six months, but I can say from experience it won't last that long. —buttermeupbk

What You'll Need
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  1. In a medium bowl mix together sweetened condensed milk , spices, and vanilla bean seeds until combined. Transfer syrup to a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge for up to six months. To serve, stir a spoonful or two of syrup into a cup of hot black tea.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lauren's Plate
    Lauren's Plate
  • Dominika Ujlaky
    Dominika Ujlaky
  • EmilyNunn
  • Patti
  • CMyst
I was born and raised in Seattle. I moved to New York in 2004, and it has been a love/hate relationship ever since. I moved to Brooklyn in 2010. I have no idea what took me so long. Brooklyn is filled with awesomeness. I love all things made with butter, drinking bourbon, and wearing leggings. I do not own a Kitchen Aid mixer (because I haven’t gotten married yet) or have one single drawer in my kitchen (the joys of apartment life) and my counter can’t accommodate a rolling pin without hitting the stove. Yet, somehow baked goods and other kitchen treats make it out alive to butter y’all up. Please email me at [email protected].

19 Reviews

MomofChef February 7, 2014
My Tibetan. niece converted us to chai two decades ago but you make a large pot so the spices infuse into the water, tea, and milk. And then strain. This is a wonderful short cut! Made my first batch today to help cope with THIS winter we are having. I adjusted spices to coincide with my chai spices so everyone should experiment-added bay leaf, coriander, and allspice and ditched the nutmeg and vanilla. Thanks for the recipe.
Baconist February 4, 2014
This makes a very tasty Chai, but with doe changes. First I brew English Breakfast tea in only about 4 oz of water for 5 minutes. EBT is a dry robust tea blended to stand up to milk and sugar, plus using only a little water makes strong tea flavor without diluting the Chai. After the tea is brewed I add the Chai syrup and then strain the mixture with a very fine sieve - absolutely cannot stand all the seeds and "stuff". Then I add a bunch of half and half and milk and reheat. Sometimes I even use almond milk which adds another complimentary flavor profile to the bev.
Baconist February 4, 2014
Wow spelling correction is so weird

PS Food52, why no edit button on posts?
MaryAnnParadise January 27, 2014
This is just delicious! So much better than a chai tea bag. Thanks for posting. I am in Chicago where the temp is -2 and dropping. This hit the spot.
Lauren's P. January 23, 2014
Wow, just made this as a dirty chai latte. Used non GMO sweetened condensed milk and a shot of coffee (made extra this morning) and frothed some 2%. Ummmmm.
Me(l)anie January 21, 2014
I made this with coconut cream and then added honey to the hot tea before stirring in a few teaspoons. delightful.
harkergirl January 20, 2014
Simple and delicious - ten minutes after reading I was sitting down to a beautiful cup of chai! Thank you for posting!
Diane January 18, 2014
Brilliant! I was extra-ambitious and made my own sweetened condensed milk, only due to sheer stubbornness in not wanting to go to the store. This is wonderful in both coffee and tea.
Jen B. January 17, 2014
This stuff is incredible! I used vanilla powder and black pepper - so good.
Brenda January 17, 2014
I made a batch of this last night and used it in my tea this morning. Really delicious! I used black pepper and a few drops of vanilla extract because I didn't have a vanilla bean, but other than that used the amount of spice listed. Can't wait to get home and make another cup.
Dominika U. January 16, 2014
Simple and delicious! I've been wanting to make my own chai-mix for a while now, but was reluctant to spend the money on whole cardamom pods/cinnamon sticks/etc... I whipped this recipe up this morning with ingredients I always have in my kitchen. And it's great! Simple, fast, and can be used multiple ways. I tested it with brewed black tea, two spoons of this syrup, and a splash of half and half for creaminess - and it was lovely, and warming, a little spicy, and totally soothing. Tomorrow morning I will put a spoon or two in my coffee for an attempt at a chai-latte. But this would also be divine drizzled over ice cream, or bread pudding, or to flavor up some scones, etc. Thanks!
Tokyo Y. January 16, 2014
Tastes great! I've always made my chai by crushing cardamon pods, grating ginger and adding a clove and a bit of cinnamon and boiling. Love it, but sometimes more work than I am willing to do. This is a great short cut! Thanks!
EmilyNunn January 15, 2014
This is really nice; not too sweet at all, which is always my fear with Chai. Thanks for posting it.
MelT January 15, 2014
This just screams "ice cream" to me. Thanks for the recipe!
BadCat January 15, 2014
Seriously, that's it?! Why, oh why have I been paying for overpriced chai tea for so many years?! I can't wait to try this!!
Meredith M. January 15, 2014
This sounds delicious! I'm trying to cut down on sugar and dairy so I wonder how this might work with coconut or almond milk and honey. Will try and report back!
shoestringmama January 20, 2014
Have you tried this with almond milk yet? I'm curious as i'm dairy free but love chai. wondering about trying it with vanilla almond milk ...
CMyst February 7, 2014
Chai is wonderful made with either almond milk or soy milk!
Patti January 14, 2014
Perfect cup of tea, yummy!