It’s become a regular routine. I add a splash of Chai Elixer into a shot of milk and sip it slowly. It tastes like… if Baileys’ came out with a Chai flavored cocktail. Creamy. You can definitely taste the brandy, it’s deliciously smooth. But the dominating flavors comes from the Chai spices, which not only taste amazing – but is the most lovely, potent, feel-good medicine. In this article, I’ll show you the recipe for the Chai Elixer that I cannot stop making!
Benefits of Chai Elixer
Chai is the ultimate comfort food – it restores, replenishes , soothes and strengthens you. It’s what you crave in the Fall and Winter, because it keeps the warmth and fire in your belly, and your circulation moving. My favorite thing about Chai is that coziness it fills me with – especially in times of stress. When you’re feeling dull, detached, uninspired and tired of feeling that way – I recommend that you bring Chai into your days.
The Chai that I learned how to make includes lots of turmeric, black pepper, and vanilla – which is a natural remedy for soothing inflammation in the body.
The combination of warming + anti-inflammatory properties, creates flow and energy in the body, but also calm and soothing to your whole system. It’s a very healing combination – good for pain, for stress, and for inflammatory conditions that show up on the skin for example acne and eczema.
The day that I turned my powdered Chai recipe into a liquid Elixer – was a game changer! All you need is a a splash of this concentrated Chai in a cup of milk…. and you’re in HEAVEN.
What is an elixer?
An elixer is an herbal infusion made with alcohol + honey or maple syrup. It’s essentially a sweetened tincture.
A tincture is a preparation of herbs infused into alcohol for 6 weeks. During that time, plant cell walls burst open, releasing the healing constituents, vitamins, nutrients, flavors and aroma into the alcohol.
Why alcohol? Alcohol is very good at extracting out the medicine of herbs. It also preserves the medicine, eliminating bacterial activity. The final product it very shelf stable and just like liquor, it lasts for years and years.
I’m a huge fan of tinctures and elixers, they’re incredibly potent and very easy to make. One dropper full, is the equivalent of drinking 3 cups of tea! I love the efficiency and simplicity of it.
But it has to be said: not all tinctures taste great. Some taste down right like medicine. It’s so concentrated in flavor (bitter, pungent, spicy…) and part of herbalism is the creativity of working with our herbs and flavours and making medicine that tastes good. Elixers, for me, are a simple way of improving the taste, adding that touch of sweetness that softens the flavours in your mouth.
What if I can't use alcohol or honey?
You can make an elixer that is alcohol-free and vegan using apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup. In herbalism, we call this an Oxymel.
It’s very similar medicine, BUT in terms of flavor, it becomes something different. And with the vinegar, I wouldn’t necessarily pour it into milk and call a Chai.
I recommend that you try making a Chai Oxymel and take it by the spoonful, or add it to your cooking in creative ways!
But if you really want a good creamy Chai drink to sip on – with no alcohol – I think the original Chai recipe is for you.
Chai Elixer Recipe
- .5 oz cinnamon 14 grams
- 3 cardomom pods
- 1 oz ginger 28 grams
- .5 oz turmeric 14 grams
- 3 whole peppercorns
- 2 cups brandy 80-proof
- 1 pod vanilla or a splash of vanilla extract
- honey to taste
- Cobine the spices and brandy together in a bullet blender and blitz just a few seconds to break up the herbs. This helps the extraction process.
- Pour into a jar, and seal with a lid. If the lid is metal, place a piece of parchment paper underneath to protect it from reacting.
- You can add the honey in with the brandy to infuse together with the spices. But, when I make an elixer for the first time, I like to add honey after the infusion, to get a taste for the flavor and how much honey I like. Usually, for an elixer it's about 1 part honey/3 parts brandy.
- Let the jar sit for 6 weeks, everyday giving it a good shake to encourage the extraction
- After 6 weeks, strain out the spices. Slowly add honey to taste.
- Store in a dropper bottle, or a bottle that you can pour out from easily. Make sure it's labeled.
- My favorite way to take it: Pour a shot of milk of choice into a glass. Add a dropper full of the Chai Elixer and enjoy!