A tall glass of cold chai is such a pleasure in the heat of summer. The ginger and cardamom lend the only heat you'll need and the milk and sweet maple flavor are soothing. If you're in the habit of using the stuff out of the box, try making a batch of your own iced chai. You might never turn back.
Iced Chaimakes 3 quarts
2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) water
1 cup chopped fresh ginger root
1/4 cup cardamom pods
10 black tea bags (regular or decaf)
2/3 cups pure maple syrup or packed brown sugar (optional)
3 cups milk, or milk alternative
In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add ginger root and cardamom pods. Lower heat to a simmer, and cover pot. Cook for 10 minutes. Add tea bags, and turn off flame. Cover pot. After 15 minutes, pour in milk and maple syrup (or brown sugar) and stir. Bring to a simmer again, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour through a sieve (or remove bags, ginger and pods some other way) into pitcher, or other cold beverage storage. Serve over ice. Keeps well, stored in refrigerator, for about a week.