One of my favorite coffee shop drinks is a Dirty Chai, which combines espresso with chai tea. I decided to convert the idea into a cocktail.
What started as a simple Espresso Martini riff soon evolved into the drink you see before you now. The replacement of vodka with cognac and yellow chartreuse plays surprisingly well with coffee and chai, bringing out the more fruity and earthy elements. It actually ends up making the cocktail more light and delicate then you might expect. Complex & tasty!
Combine ingredients into a shaker tin with ice and shake for 12-15 seconds.
Double strain into a chilled coupe.
Top the cocktail with “dirty chai cream”:
Add ~2 oz half & half,
~1/4 oz chai syrup,
and ~1/4 oz coffee liqueur to a squeeze bottle with a hawthorn strainer spring and shake until it leaves a dot on your finger.
(Optionally skip this step and just add an extra 1/2 oz of half and half to the ingredients, but I think it’s worth it for the texture)
Garnish with star anise, coffee beans, and freshly grated nutmeg.
To make Masala Chai Syrup:
1 cup filtered water
1 cup Demerara sugar
15 grams loose-leaf black tea
3 cinnamon sticks
~10 allspice berries
~15 cardamom pods
~20 whole black peppercorns
2 star anise pods
1 tsp vanilla extract
Toast spices either with a torch or in a skillet.
Place tea in a ball steeper or similar steeping tool.
Combine the water, sugar, and toasted spices in a pot and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, remove from heat and add tea to steep for 5 minutes.
Remove tea after 5 minutes and continue to steep with the spices for another 2-3 hours.
Strain and bottle
P.S. combine this syrup with some steamed milk for an excellent chai latte!