Ok, that’s a lot of words for two pretty basic drinks – limeade and tea. And the chai is a hybrid, using classic Indian Chai preparation with coconut milk instead of dairy milk and Thai spices instead of the usual Indian spices. The limeade is, obviously, best served very cold. The chai is good iced or served hot to warm the hands and innards. Enjoy.
Mint Basil Limeade
- 2 juicy limes plus one for garnish
- 3/4 cup sugar plus a little extra for garnish
- 8 cups water
- 8 large mint leaves plus extra for garnish
- 5-8 basil leaves
- ice as desired
Wash the limes, cut into quarters and remove all seeds. Place limes, sugar, mint, basil, and half the water in a blender. Blend until everything is mixed and smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Stir in the remaining water and taste. Add sugar as needed for taste. Refrigerate until very cold pour into glasses with ice. Garnish with lime sliced dipped in sugar and mint leaves.
Coconut Milk Thai Chai
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 3 Tbs loose rooibos tea
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 stalk of lemongrass
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 whole Chinese anise
- 1 1/2 inch piece peeled ginger, lightly crushed
- 10-12 black or green peppercorns
- peel of 1/4 orange
Put everything into a large soup pot. Bring to a light simmer over medium heat then reduce heat to low and stew hot for 2 hours. Make sure it doesn’t boil and isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. When it is ready to drink, strain through a mesh tea strainer or teapot. Adjust sweetness with sugar and drink hot or refrigerate until cool. Don’t add ice to hot tea or it will become very watery.