Homemade Chai Syrup

Chai Syrup

I do sometimes worry about some people. I was in the supermarket with Mr NQN the other day and we were negotiating the busy thoroughfare of the aisles when we came across a trolley that was left in the middle of the aisle blocking people and traffic. It was a Sunday afternoon which is the busiest time and people were trying to weave in and out past the trolley.

Mr NQN was unable to get our trolley past it and since I had walked ahead, he indicated for me to move the trolley to one side a few inches so that he could get past.

"How dare you touch my trolley!!" a woman roared at me. Immediately, she was at my side all red cheeks and wild hair, incensed that I had literally just touched her trolley. I hadn't even moved it more than an inch at that stage.

I am usually relatively calm but my temper was short that day. "Well you're taking up most of the aisle with your trolley!"

Chai Syrup

She harumped and still seething at her trolley being manhandled, spat out "Bloody yuppie chai drinkers" to her husband. I almost laughed at the strange insult. People around me gave me apologetic looks, one woman said "I was going to move it, thank god I didn't" and as for me, all I got was a hankering for a cup of hot chai.

Whenever I go to a cafe, chai is usually my choice for a drink. I love the aromatic warmth of a cup of a chai with a cookie or something sweet and a cup of chai gives me a bit of a caffeine jolt without getting too jittery and the milk content makes it surprisingly filling. When I saw Brooke's recipe for a chai concentrate I was curious to try it.

It was so easy to make and there's an added bonus in that the whole house smells wonderful as the spices infuse into every nook and cranny. I know that chai isn't the hardest thing to make and you could easily make a pot of it but this syrup's strength is actually having it in an iced chai drink and it makes a superb chai milkshake or iced chai. You can also customise the spices to suit your taste - if you like cinnamon add more and if you find clove too strong in chai, use less. Brooke even suggests it to flavour cakes or other baked goods which I think is a splendid idea. Bottled up, it would make a fabulous gift.

So tell me Dear Reader, what is the strangest insult you've ever heard? And is it inappropriate to touch another's shopping trolley?

Homemade Chai Syrup

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Makes about 3 cups of chai syrup (enough for about 6-8 cups of chai)

Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 5 cups water
  • 10 black teabags or 10 teaspoons looseleaf black tea
  • 1/3 cup sugar or honey (or more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed to release seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Chai Syrup

Step 1. Bring all ingredients to boil in a saucepan and then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Chai Syrup

Step 2. Strain in a fine sieve and allow to cool and decant into bottles using a funnel. Mix with hot milk according to how strong you like your chai.

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