I got a very sweet email from two readers (Lauren and Oliver) last week and in it they included a link to this awesome recipe for Ginger Simple Syrup. I was so on board with making the recipe to begin with but then my brain starting working…
It reminded me of a pared down version of the chai concentrate that I made (and LOVED) last year. So, I thought, why not just go ahead and make the simple syrup not just ginger flavored, but chai flavored? That way I can add it to whatever I want. I can still make chai with it (add it to brewed tea and milk), or I can drizzle it on vanilla ice cream, add it to a cocktail (recipes below), or even put it in my coffee!! FYI, I had it in my coffee this morning and it was to die for.
Normally, simple syrups have a water/sugar ratio of about 1:1. This recipe starts off with 2 parts water and 1 part sugar but because you’re simmering it for so long to infuse the flavors, a lot of the moisture boils off and you will have a 1:1 ratio in the end.
Oh, and if you’re looking for inexpensive cinnamon sticks, check the Mexican section of larger grocery stores. I found a separate spice section in Walmart’s Mexican aisle with inexpensive spices like cinnamon, star anise, dried chiles, chamomile, and more. …and they were only $1.50 per pack! Of course, this may depend entirely on the size of the Hispanic population in your area. Stores won’t stock it if there isn’t a demand for it.
Chai Spiced Simple Syrup
Chai Spiced Simple Syrup
Chai spiced simple syrup is an easy way to add chai flavor to any of your drinks.
- 2 inches fresh ginger $0.33
- 1/2 Tbsp black peppercorns $0.08
- 1 large or 4 small cinnamon stick $1.50
- 10 whole cloves $0.39
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.14
- 1 cup white sugar $0.16
- 2 cups water $0.00
Peel the ginger (vegetable peeler or scrape with a spoon) and then cut into thin slices.
In a medium sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients except the vanilla extract. Bring up to a boil over medium/high heat and then reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer strongly for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes of simmering, turn off the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture through a sieve, stir in the vanilla extract, and pour into a resealable container. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
TO USE: Add 1 fluid ounce of the chai flavored simple syrup to 8 ounces of tea, coffee, soda, or milk.
Step By Step Photos
Peel and slice the fresh ginger. Slice it thinly so that as much flavor will infuse the syrup as possible.
Combine all of the ingredients (except the vanilla extract) in a medium sauce pan. I *almost* forgot the cinnamon stick… but I remembered it right after snapping the photo.
Bring the ingredients up to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce the heat until you have a strong simmer. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, during which time water will evaporate off until you eventually have about a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water.
Turn the heat off after 30 minutes and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. You can tell the flavor has infused the syrup because of the gorgeous amber color!
Strain through a sieve, stir in the vanilla extract, and pour into a resealable container. Store for up to a month in the refrigerator!
Lauren and Oliver suggested mixing the ginger syrup with whiskey and club soda for a refreshing cocktail. I love whiskey so I decided to give it a shot. I had some honey whiskey on hand so I used that and it was AWESOME.
But the real winner was vanilla vodka! The chai syrup plus the creamy vanilla vodka made an amazing cream soda/ginger ale like flavor that was just insanely good. You gotta try it!