It’s finally starting to feel like winter here which is rather lovely. All we need is snow and I’ll be running about throwing snowballs with glee. Snow is pretty rare here and the fact that forecasters are predicting the white stuff has me all excited and is definitely helping things feel more like the holidays.
The other night we put up our tree and listened to a few of our favorite Christmas records on the hi-fi. To help us get a little more festive, I decided to make a nice hot chai to warm us up and get us in the holiday spirit. Since it was well into the evening and the lighting in our apartment is in a sorry state, I couldn’t get a good photo, so a quick drawing will have to do. Pretend it’s scratch n’ sniff.
I made a very similar tea a couple ago but consider this a tweaked version (although both versions are rad). Instead of using honey, I used piloncillo, which is a Mexican unrefined brown sugar made from sugar cane and shaped into a cone. This is a lovely spicy warm drink that tastes as cozy and sweet as we all should be. Let the holidays begin!
hot spiced tea
3 c water
1 3″ piece of ginger, cut into large discs
4 black tea bags
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
5 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1/2 t black peppercorns
2 c milk
2-3″ chunk of piloncillo, chopped (or a 2 T honey)
In a large covered saucepan, bring the water and ginger to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add in tea bags, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, and milk and continue to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes until fragrant and dark. Taste. If not strong enough for your liking, let simmer longer. Strain to remove solids and whisk in piloncillo or honey and return to heat so that the sugar melts into the tea. Divide into mugs and serve hot.