Our Mother's Day tradition is breakfast in bed for Mom, made a la' my little chefs and husband. Usually a glass of champagne or mimosa dons the breakfast tray along with a piping hot latte. This year I was thinking back to when my babies (yes, I have twins) were born and all the little things that got me through those first tough years. Things like a hot cup of coffee or a nice glass of wine were indulgences, and I have very fond memories of chai tea.
New moms don't ever really get to relax and we learn to survive on stolen moments of peace and solitude. For me it was my cherished Saturday morning outing sans babies for yoga and chai soy lattes with my college roomie Kristin. The soothing aroma and rich creamy mouthful (along with adult conversation) was a coveted luxurious break from the mayhem of newborns. But, truth be told we usually didn't finish our tea before we desperately missed our little ones. We knew we just needed a little break, not a vacation, to regroup and refresh, making us much happier moms.
The sweet and spicy smell of chai still brings me back to those Zen moments. Its rich taste is just as alluring today, but now, 7 years later, I can enjoy it adult-style. A little aged rum takes this already delicious drink to a whole new level and served iced makes for a great addition to a brunch. If you like your sip with nutty, chocolate, and coffee notes go for an aged rum like Zaya 12-year or if you want the chai with a touch of coconut go for a mild white rum like Bacardi or Cruzan Light Aged.
This year we're starting a new Mother's Day tradition and sipping these in the afternoon watching the kids play outside. Treat your mom with this recipe or you could serve this for a delicious cold drink option when hosting any brunch or lunch al fresco.
You can use our DIY Chai Tea recipe to make your own chai mix: The Best Chai. Or take a shortcut with a store bought blend or bags. Either way icing your chai and serving with creamy vanilla soy and spiked with a little alcohol makes for a perfect afternoon sip to enjoy on a warm day.
Spiked Iced Soy Chai Tea
2 quarts cold water 4 to 6 spiced or black chai tea bags (if using loose tea use 4 teaspoons per quart) 1 cup vanilla soy milk 8 ounces aged rum (bourbon or white rum may be substituted) *honey or agave syrup, optional
Combine the tea bags and water in a large pitcher and cover. If you are using loose leaves a large French press for tea works great. Place the mixture in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 8 hours. The longer you leave the tea to cold brew the stronger it will become.
Remove the tea bags. Add the vanilla soy milk and the aged rum. Stir to combine.
* Sweeten if desired with honey or agave syrup, but be sure to taste first because vanilla soy milk is already sweetened.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky