Beverage, Recipes

March 1, 2019

Chai Old Fashioned + 5 Health Benefits of Chai Tea Spices

Do you like chai tea? I love it! Especially with a little bourbon 🙂 The warming spices of the chai help to balance the sometimes overwhelming flavor of the bourbon. Old fashions are sometimes too boozy. If you are not a hardcore bourbon lover or if you like your drinks less strong this is a perfect cocktail for you.

Chai is a traditional Indian black tea made with cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. I love it but when I really prefer to make my own because you never know what your going to get when you order it out. At coffee shops it is usually a thick syrup that they add to milk. Cloyingly sweet. To make this drink you will make your own chai syrup that can be stored in the refrigerator and used not only for this drink but to sweeten your tea as well.

Besides the delicious flavor the spices in the chai actually have a variety health benefits.

1. Helps with digestion

The ginger, black pepper, and cardamom have all shown positive benefit on digestion.

2. Heart health

Cinnamon and black tea have shown benefits on both reducing LDL as well as decreasing incidence of heart disease. This comes with drinking more than 3 cups of black tea per day and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. It is thought to be because of the anti-oxidant activity in the tea.

3. Blood Sugar Regulation

Of course this is when you do not drink your chai with loads of sugar. Cinnamon has shown to be helpful at lowering blood sugar levels. This is in amounts higher than what you would find in the chai but it adds to your daily intake.

4. Increase mental performance

Being  that black tea does have caffeine it has shown increased mental performance after consuming between 3-6 cups per day.

5. Aids in Weight Loss

Black tea has shown to help aid in weight loss more than other caffeine containing beverages. This is when you do not drink it will added sugar. It can also help to increase hydration and many times we can mistake thirst for hunger. Choosing to drink tea is a great option instead of reaching for a sugary beverage.

Most of the health benefits of chai are from the individual ingredients rather than chai specifically. Overall chai has less caffeine than other teas and coffee so it is a good option for people who are watching caffeine intake.

Don’t forget if you make this recipe to share it with me on Instagram! I LOVE to see what you make.

You can watch me make the cocktail on Facebook.

The Recipe:

from Half Baked Harvest

Chai Tea Simple Syrup

  • 4 chai tea bags
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup 

Chai Old Fashioned

  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 drops or 2 dashes cocoa bitters
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) chai tea syrup
  • sparkling water
  • cinnamon and star anise, for serving (optional)

For the Simple Syrup

  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove water from the heat and add chai tea bags. Let the tea steep in the water for 10-15 minutes until you have a really strong tea mixture.
  2. Add 1/3 cup coconut sugar to the small saucepan and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sugar as dissolved.
  3. Let the syrup cool and you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

For the Cocktail

  1. Pour bourbon, simple syrup and bitters over ice* in a cocktail glass or a cocktail shaker.
  2. Top with soda water and garnish with spices.

*Would be good served hot as well.

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