Masala Chai Mocktail

Photo of a glass of Masala Chai Mocktail on a tableThis Masala Chai Mocktail is delicious for brunch, during cocktail hour, or any time you want to spice up your beverage choices. Masala refers to the spice blend, and chai means tea. (So, saying chai tea is redundant.)

Chai developed in India after the British colonialists started growing its favorite bitter beverage on the subcontinent in the mid-1800s. And this sweetened, spicy version took off like wildfire. Chai wallahs, or tea stands, are in every city in India.

The particular blend of spices used to make the masala varies regionally and from family to family. In this recipe, we call for tea bags that already include the spices. So, choose the blend that you favor.

Masala Chai Mocktail Recipe
Adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine
Yields 4 Servings

For the chai syrup
2 chai spice tea bags (either with or without caffeine)
1/2 cup sugar

For the cocktail
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
8–12 ounces club soda

For the garnish
4 whole star anise pods
4 lemon twists

Make the chai syrup
Combine the tea bags and 1 cup of boiling water in a small bowl or jar. Cover and allow the tea to steep for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Discard tea bags and allow the tea to cool.

Mix the cocktail
Stir the chai syrup and lime juice in a pitcher to combine. Divide the liquid evenly among 4 rocks glasses that are filled with ice.

Add 2 to 3 ounces of club soda to each glass and garnish each with an anise pod and lemon twist.

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