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Close up of masala chai syrup infusing in a pan
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4.67 from 3 votes

Masala Chai Syrup

Masala Chai Syrup is a sweet, dark & intense syrup that is useful for flavouring drinks and recipes with a delicious blend of Indian spices. Who needs coffee-shop chai latte when this syrup is so easy & cheap to make at home. Use a little (2-3 tsp) to flavour hot drinks - there's enough for 10 servings
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Condiment, Drink - non-alcoholic, sauce
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 1 x 150ml bottle
Calories: 47kcal


  • 100 g Demerara sugar
  • 100 ml Water
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks each 10cm
  • 5 Cardamom pods
  • 5 Black peppercorns
  • 6 Cloves
  • ½ clove Nutmeg
  • 3 Allspice berries
  • 1 Star anise
  • 3 slices Fresh ginger (1mm thickness) - approx 7g in total
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract


  • Begin by putting the sugar and water into a small saucepan and place on a medium heat to dissolve the sugar
  • Meanwhile prepare the spices - snap the cinnamon stick in half and then hit it several times in a pestle and mortar to break it up a little more (don't grind it). Tip the chunks of cinnamon into a small bowl
  • Next split the cardamom pods (a swift whack with the pestle should do the trick). Add the split pods and seeds to the cinnamon
  • Put the cloves, nutmeg, black pepper and allspice berries into the mortar and give them a gentle bash with the pestle. Again, do not grind to a powder
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, tip the dry spices, including the star anise, along with the slithers of fresh ginger into the pan and bring to the boil, then remove the pan from the heat
  • Let steep for 2 hours then strain to remove the chunks of spices (either a nutbag or muslin is best for this)
  • Stir through the vanilla extract and pour into a bottle
  • Store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks


Expert Tips
  • Don't be tempted to shorted the infusing time. It is vital to let the spices imaprt their flavour into the syrup for the full 2 hours
  • Feel free to vary the spcies according to your own taste preferences
  • If there's a spice you dislike, leave it out
  • If you really adore a particular spice consider adding a little more in
  • Strain through a nutbag, filter cup or muslin cloth to remove all traces of spice from the syrup
  • It's fine to substitute white sugar in place of the demerara. The colour will be lighter and the flavour of the drink will vary slightly too. Demerara adds an extra level of complexity and mellowness that white sugar does not
Storage Instructions
This syrup is best stored in the fridge where it should keep well (if sealed) for around 4 weeks.
It can also be frozen, although the spice profile of the syrup is likely to be slightly muted following freezing. It's a good idea to freeze in ice cube trays so a single portion can be used at a time


Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg