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Winterize your happy hour with this spiced chai cocktail


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Photo: Bette Blau
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Cooler weather calls for cocktails that take the edge off in more ways than one. This chai-based drink from Well+Good’s resident cocktail expert, The Outside Institute founder Laura Silverman, blends the mellow, oaky flavors of golden rum with the bold spices of chai to warm you up at the end of a particularly chilly day.

“Masala chai, the strong spiced black tea, has wonderful warming properties that support digestion, circulation and respiration, thanks to beneficial ingredients like clove, cardamom, fennel, ginger, and pepper,” says Silverman. And the glug of rum doesn’t hurt either when it comes to getting cozy.

In India, chai is often served softened with cream and sugar to round out the bold flavors, and this cocktail takes a similar approach, but with better-for-you ingredients: almond milk and jaggery. A splash of almond milk adds vitamin E and is perfect for the dairy-free set. Jaggery is an unrefined white sugar made from pure cane juice that’s loaded with potassium, iron, and magnesium, says Silverman. Look for it in Indian markets, or substitute a light muscovado.

Ready to curl up with a cocktail? Keep reading for the recipe.
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Chai Wallah

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients
2 oz. brewed and cooled masala chai
2 oz. golden rum
2 tsp jaggery or light muscovado
1/2 oz. almond milk
Dash of cardamom bitters
Whole star anise, for garnish

1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the chai, rum, and jaggery—stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the almond milk, bitters, and plenty of ice. Shake until well chilled.

2. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube, garnish with star anise and serve.

Each week, The Outside Institute founder Laura Silverman crafts a cocktail recipe just for Well+Good readers using in-season plants and herbs. Bookmark this page for more healthy cocktail ideas.

If you’re looking for more ways to stay warm this winter, try these recipes crafted to balance out your energy and a dessert-inspired healthy soup to satisfy the sweet tooth. 

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