The leaves are nearly all fallen, there’s a deep chill in the air, the sun sets before I leave the office, and the winter coats and beanies have made their way out of the closet. The end of fall is certainly here, and if you haven’t needed to bundle up where you live, the impending Thanksgiving holiday was enough to give it away. No matter the year, Thanksgiving always seems to surprise me.
This year, my parents and sister are coming here to Portland to celebrate the holiday with us, and I couldn’t be more excited! Thanksgiving is the big kickoff to the holiday season, one of my favorite times of year, and it’s so special to share it with them in our home. Thanksgiving is all about the food, of course. My favorite part of this time of year are the flavors; spicy, rich and warm. I love bringing these festive flavors into my drinks as well, which is where this chai spiced cider enters the mix.
Of course, despite the cold temperatures there are still plenty of outdoor activities to do. On Thanksgiving Day, we barbeque our turkey, so the men spend quite a bit of time out on the porch keeping an eye on the bird. There are Christmas trees to be found, and ice skating rinks, downtown shopping and nature walks to be enjoyed. We love to bring a hot drink with us to keep us warm outside, and its important that the container its in actually keeps it hot.
I love this travel tumbler for hot beverages. The folks at Thermos® kindly sent over their vacuum insulated beverage bottle to try out. The Stainless King™ 16 oz. Travel Tumbler keeps beverages hot for up to 5 hours, and cold for 9. It fits perfectly in a car cup holder, which is so important, and is completely spill proof (trust me, I put it to the test!) After making this chai spiced apple cider, I casually sipped on it throughout the afternoon and it remained hot as long as the label promised. One of my favorite, almost hidden, features is the tea bag hook under the lid! As an avid tea drinker, the tea bag string hanging out of a to go container has always annoyed me, and this is such a simple, brilliant solution!
When it comes to holiday beverages, I tend toward the spicy over the sweet. Unsweetened chai tea is a favorite of mine, and I knew I needed to create a beverage that included it. Apple cider is a holiday staple, and one I don’t ever think to have. I knew the spicy chai flavors would play well with the apple, almost like an apple pie. For a little extra spice I added fresh ginger and cardamom bittters. For those over 21, add your favorite bourbon for a warm spiced apple cider cocktail.
Hot Chai Spiced Apple Cider
Apple cider (bottled or homemade)
Loose leaf chai tea
Optional: bourbon, for a 21+ beverage!
- Brew the chai tea concentrate. For 8 oz. of tea, add 2 tablespoons loose leaf chai tea to 8 oz. boiling water. Let steep 30-60 minutes. Since you’ll be mixing this with other ingredients, you want the tea to be strong.
- Peel ginger and cut a few slices. I used about 4 slices for 3 cups of liquid, but you can add more or less to taste.
- In a large saucepan add 2 parts apple cider, 1 part chai tea concentrate, and ginger slices. Bring just to a boil then reduce heat and lightly simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add several dashes of cardamom bitters. I used about 10 shakes of the bottle to 3 cups liquid.
- Pour into mugs or Thermos®.
- Optional: add two ounces bourbon to each serving.
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Let me know if you mix up this chai spiced apple cider! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, and you’ll certainly be warm.
This post was sponsored by Genuine Thermos® Brand. All photos, recipes and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Wild & Pine.