As promised in yesterday’s post on chai, we’re featuring a cool summer beverage recipe from Dana Jacobi, author of The Essential Best Foods Cookbook: 225 Irresistible Recipes Featuring the Healthiest and Most Delicious Foods and a contributor to the New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life.
“As the weather warmed and drinking hot tea all day became less comfortable, I began to think about how to make it into a good cold drink,” she says. “Experimenting revealed interesting options.”
Step 1: Brew chai from teabags, and freeze it into ice cubes—“a great way to avoid ice diluting the flavor in your glass,” Jacobi explains. “These cubes keep for several days—longer when, once frozen, they are stored in a resealable plastic bag.”
Step 2: Brew a batch of chai using spices plus tea. It will “keep for several days in the refrigerator,” Jacobi says.
Step 3: Add almond milk, a “flavor that marries beautifully with the spices,” she says. In lieu of sugar, sweeten this beverage with agave, a natural syrup that’s available in mainstream supermarkets and organic food stores.
Iced Almond Chai
Makes 4 one-cup servings
3 green cardamom pods, cracked
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 cups cold water
3 black teabags
3 chai teabags with black tea
3 cups boiling water
1-1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk, chilled
8–10 teaspoons agave syrup, preferably dark
For the chai, combine the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, anise and peppercorns in a medium saucepan. Add the water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Off the heat, add the black teabags, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the teabags, squeezing them well.
Pour the chai into a heat-proof jar, and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Strain the chai when ready to use, and discard the spices.
For ice cubes: In a heatproof measuring cup, pour the boiling water over the 3 chai tea bags, and steep for 10 minutes. Divide the tea between two ice cube trays, and cool to room temperature; then freeze into cubes.
To serve, place 6 chai ice cubes in each of four 12-ounce glasses. Pour in 1/2 cup of the strained, chilled chai. Add 1/3 cup almond milk and sweeten to taste, using 2 to 3 teaspoons of agave syrup per serving.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research