This easy frozen chai tea shake recipe is warmly spiced yet deliciously cold—the perfect thing for late summer as it starts to hint at fall (and certainly better than chugging pumpkin spice lattes in August).
Was it Starbucks? Sometime over the past decade chai became just another beverage flavor, like vanilla, or pumpkin. But Indian spiced tea, masala chai, has both a lovely delicacy and a fortifying strength. Here, Kim Laidlaw turns those qualities into refreshing milkshakes that should get you through the hottest summer day, or at least a good 10 minutes of one.
Chai tea bags are handy things, but we suggest making your own sachet for this recipe, using good-quality masala chai (ours is from The Chai Cart in San Francisco) and cheesecloth.
VAHDAM Masala Chai Loose Leaf Tea, $12.99 from Amazon
This Indian brand is also widely enjoyed.
Either way, you’ll need to let the milk mixture steep for at least two hours, but overnight is even better, so plan accordingly.
Kim Laidlaw’s Frozen Chai Tea Shakes
Makes 4 shakes
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup loose masala chai tied in cheesecloth, or 4 chai tea bags
- 4 slices peeled fresh ginger
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Whipped cream
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
1. In a saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat just until it begins to steam and bubble around the edge.
2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chai cheesecloth sachet (or tea bags), ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Stir briefly to dissolve the sugar.
3. Cover and set aside to cool to room temperature.
4. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or (preferably) overnight.
5. Just before serving, make the whipped cream.
6. Pour the cold chai through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass measuring cup and discard the solids.
7. Add the ice cream to a blender, then pour over the cold chai and process until smooth.
8. Pour into tall frosty glasses, top each with a big dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.
Vitamix A2300 Series Ascent Blender, $449.95 from Williams Sonoma
For the creamiest shake around.
Related Reading on CNET: The Best Blenders of 2020
Related Video: Try These Tips for the Perfect Milkshake
This story was originally published in 2014. It has been updated with additional images, links, and text.
Photos by Chris Rochelle; styling by Kim Laidlaw.