Northern Cardamom Chai
This post is sponsored by Northern Keep Vodka.
This is the Fall cocktail you’ll be craving when you want all the comfort of a tea, but with an extra hit of chai spice and some booze to make you do your happy dance. The point of difference with this chai cocktail is that it’s made with Northern Keep Vodka, our new go-to bottle for when we are looking for an elevated vodka with a smooth finish. It’s made with a blend of Canadian rye and Winter wheat bringing all the feels of the Canadian outdoors right inside our homes. We stand by them because they are all about celebrating Canada, from their flavour profiles to their partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. We sipped even harder when we discovered that every bottle of Northern Keep sold helps protect 5 square feet of ecologically significant land in Canada! As if we needed a reason to love them more!
The cardamom spice syrup could be a blog post on its own (hmmm, maybe we do that) because it is just an awesome ingredient to have on hand to spice up many recipes! You could use a chai tea bag if you don’t have all the ingredients, but TRUST us, it’s not the same, the cardamom, ginger and vanilla make it the real deal. We made cupcakes not too long after making this syrup, and you better believe it got drizzled on top of the icing! Make anything taste like Fall with a drizzle of this liquid goodness. This recipe yields 1/2 a pint, and it lasts 7 days refrigerated, so get creative!
For the Cocktail:
- 2 oz of Northern Keep Vodka
- 2 oz of cream liqueur (we used Wayne Gretzky), or heavy cream if you prefer less boozy
- 1.5 – 2 oz of Cardamom Chai syrup (recipe and instructions below)
- cinnamon sticks and/or star anise for garnish
For the Cardamom Chai Syrup:
- cheesecloth (approximately 2, 8″ squares)
- butcher’s twine
- 4 black tea bags (we used Tea India, trust us on this one)
- 1 inch of fresh ginger
- 15 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 vanilla bean (split), or 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
- 5 cloves, whole
- 2 star anise pods, whole
- 1/4 tsp of black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Start by making the simple syrup. Round up all your spices (leaving cinnamon sticks out) and your tea bags and place them in the centre of one of the cheesecloth squares. Gather the corners together and using the butcher’s twine tie the spices into a very tightly gathered bag. Take the second square and create a second ply by placing the spice bag in the centre of the square. Gather the corners and tie tight.
- In a small saucepan, bring the water and the sugar to a boil. Once boiling, add the spice bag and the cinnamon sticks (and vanilla extract if you’re using it instead of the vanilla bean) stir, and reduce to a low simmer for 20 minutes.
- Your kitchen now smells like Fall! Let the syrup cool, remove spice bag and cinnamon sticks, and strain into a mason jar or any airtight container (keeps for 1 week).
- Fill a glass with ice. Add the vodka and the cardamom syrup. Give it a light swirl. Top with cream liqueur (or heavy cream) and gently stir. Sip, clear a space in the living room, and do your happy dance.
If you’re into Northern Keep as much as we are, check out our Pear Sage Fizz cocktail as well, it was our debut cocktail using this vodka and it kicked off our passion!