Spice up your cocktail game with this boozy chai old fashioned! It's boldly flavored with warm spices and hints of orange and ginger in every sip. This chai cocktail puts a twist on the classic old fashioned that you won't want to forget!
Call me old fashion, but I love a good drink this time of year (ha, see what I did there?). The temperature is dipping, the leaves are falling, and I'm looking for a nice cozy cocktail to have in hand by the fire on a chilly evening.
This chai cocktail has it all - not only does it satisfy the boozy drink requirement, but it also has a nice warm spice profile that's perfect around the holiday season! Not to mention it's also a breeze to whip up. Don't let the chai deter you, even if you aren't a fan of chai lattes, this chai bourbon cocktail may surprise you. There are a few shortcuts you can take so you can be sipping on your tasty easy cocktail when the mood strikes!
Chai Cocktail Ingredients and Substitutions
- Bourbon - A crucial old fashioned ingredient. Use a high quality bourbon if you can like Bullet Bourbon or Woodford Reserve. You can also use whiskey or scotch if you prefer.
- Chai concentrate - The star of the show! This is the concentrate, like chai syrup, used to make chai tea. I like Tazo which can be found in the tea aisle at most grocery stores. Trader Joes also has a chai concentrate. Because we are using concentrate in this recipe, we don't need any additional simple syrup. You can also use strong homemade chai tea but you will want to add a little bit of sweetener.
- Orange juice - Fresh orange juice is always best but store bought will also work.
- Ginger beer - This is not typically found in old fashioneds but I love adding it to cocktails to give the drink a little more zip. Feel free to swap with sparkling or still water or ginger ale.
- Bitters - A classic cocktail ingredient. Angostura bitters are typically used in an old fashioned but I prefer to use orange bitters to give it even more citrus flavor.
How to Make a Chai Tea Cocktail
You will need a cocktail shaker or a large glass to make the cocktail. Traditional old fashioneds are served in a low ball rocks glass but any type of glass will work.
Step 1 : Mix the ingredients. Add the bourbon, chai concentrate, orange juice, ginger beer, and orange bitters to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Give everything a few big swirls with a cocktail stirrer to mix it all up.
Step 2 : Strain the cocktail into a low ball glass with a large ice cube. The large ice cube is best as it won't melt as quickly as smaller ice cubes giving you less ice dilution.
Step 3 : Garnish. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of the cocktail and a star anise if desired and enjoy! You can also use a simple cinnamon stick if you have one on hand.
How to Make a Large Batch
Yes, this cocktail actually batches really well! Simply multiple the ingredient quantities in the recipe card below and add them to a pitcher or large container without ice. Use a cocktail stirrer or a spoon to mix everything together.
Allow guests to pour the cocktail into individual glasses with a large ice cube and garnish as desired.
Chai Old Fashioned Frequently Asked Questions
Chai is a type of spiced tea with a handful of chai spices including cardamom pods, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and star anise.
Yes, make a strong batch of tea as directed on your chai tea bags. Let it cool and then add the same amount to the cocktail plus ½ teaspoon of sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves.
A traditional old fashioned uses bourbon but you can also use whiskey or scotch in this recipe is you prefer.
More delicious cocktails to check out:
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Chai Old Fashioned
- 2 oz bourbon
- 2 oz chai concentrate - or strong chai tea, cooled
- ½ oz orange juice
- 1 oz ginger beer - or sparking water
- 2 dashes Orange bitters
- Star anis
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, chai concentrate, orange juice, ginger beer, and orange bitters. Use a cocktail stirrer or a spoon to mix everything up well.
- Place a large ice cube in a low ball glass and strain the cocktail over the ice cube and into the glass.
- Garnish the drink with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a star anis and enjoy!