Indian spiced tea—masala chai—has a lovely delicacy and a fortifying strength. We harnessed both qualities for these refreshing milkshakes that should help you get through the muggiest summer afternoon.
Chai tea bags are handy, but we suggest making your own sachet, using cheesecloth and a good-quality masala chai, a blend of loose-leaf black tea with whole spices such as cardamom pods, cloves, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon, and dried ginger (one of our favorite blends is from The Chai Cart in San Francisco).
- 1Place 4 tall glasses in the freezer to chill. In a saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat just until it begins to steam and bubble around the edge.
- 2Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chai sachet (or tea bags), ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Stir briefly to dissolve the sugar.
- 3Cover and set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or (preferably) overnight.
- 4Just before serving, make the whipped cream.
- 5Pour the steeped chai through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids.
- 6Add the ice cream to a blender, then pour in the cold chai and process until smooth.
- 7Pour into the chilled glasses, top each with a big dollop of whipped cream, and dust with a little ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.
Photos by Chris Rochelle