Fall is here, which means obsessively trying to make everything I eat and drink as cozy as possible — that includes cocktails! I’ve always considered bourbon to be the coziest liquor. Something about the rich, warming quality as well as the caramel, clove and vanilla notes that often come with a nice bourbon make it feel cozier than something like, say, tequila. My go-to cozy bourbon cocktail is a Hot Toddy, but I wanted to branch out today and discovered Spiked Chai. With a few tweaks to make it my own, this turned out to be a great drink for when you’re craving something cozy for the colder months.
- 1 cup chai concentrate
- ¼ cup coconut creamer or cream of your choice + 2 tablespoons extra for frothing
- 1.5 ounces bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
- 3 dashes Honest John Orange Clove bitters or bitters of your choice
- 2 star anise, for garnish
- Pour the chai concentrate and ¼ cup of coconut creamer into a pot over high heat, and heat until steaming. Try to avoid boiling.
- Pour the mixture into a mug, then add the bourbon and bitters and stir.
- Pour the 2 tablespoons of coconut creamer into a separate glass and froth with a milk frother until light and airy. Pour on top of the drink.
- Add your two star anise on top of the foam, and enjoy!
This drink comes together quickly and without much prep work at all. It’s perfect paired with a slice of Chai Spiced Pumpkin Bread, a warm blanket and your favorite Wes Anderson movie. Warm, cozy drinks like these are great for capping off a night after a long day of classes, and I know it’ll be in heavy rotation over the course of my fall quarter!
A version of this article appeared on p. 14 of the October 7, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.