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+ servings
Glass of masala chai garnished with star anise
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5 from 1 vote

Rum Masala Chai

Take your tea drinking to a new level with rum masala chai. Delightfully spiced, deeply comforting and with a hint of alcohol, this is one sweet tea drink you should not pass up the chance to try.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Alcoholic Drink
Cuisine: Indian, Worldwide
Servings: 4
Calories: 171kcal


  • 3 Tea Bags (black tea) eg Assam, Darjeeling, English Breakfast
  • 5 Green cardamom pods
  • 12 Thin slices ginger 1 mm thick
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks each 10cm long
  • 5 Cloves
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns add an extra ½ tsp for a more intense pepper flavour
  • 1 Star anise
  • ½ tsp Fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg freshly grated
  • 1 Vanilla pod see notes
  • 500 ml/ 2 cups Water
  • 2-3 tbsp Light brown sugar
  • 500 ml/ 2 cups Whole milk
  • 60 ml/ 2 fl oz Dark rum


  • Measure out the spices
  • Optional: to release a stronger spice flavour roughly break up the whole spices in a pestle and mortar (or with the back of a rolling pin
  • Put the ginger into a large saucepan and gently bruise using a cocktail muddler. Add the vanilla pod (split with a sharp knife lengthways), the whole spices and the tea bags
  • Pour in the water, cook over a moderate heat for 10 minutes
  • Add the milk and 2 tbsp sugar
  • Bring back to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Don't worry if a skin forms, this is normal and will be strained away later
  • After 20 minutes, stir and taste. Add more sugar if necessary
  • Strain the tea through a fine-meshed sieve or a nut bag
  • Serve as it is or with 1 tbsp rum per serving. Garnish with cinnamon and/ or star anise
  • Any leftovers can be stored in a bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days


Vary the spice levels according to your personal preferences. 
For a less peppery heat add half the amount of pepper. Want a deeper pepper flavout - add a little more.
Not so keen on ginger - half it.
The recipe as given produces a mid-spiced drink. I've had more fiery masala chai, but I've also had much milder drinks. Expect to taste pepper, ginger and anise.
Vanilla extract can be used in place of the vanilla pod. I always work on the basis of 1 tsp of vanilla extract being equivalnty to 1 vanilla pod. However, it's worth checking the guidelines on your bottle since the strength can vary according to the brand/ quality of the extract.


Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 203IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 1mg