baileys chai

The month of March typically brings cold weather here in North Carolina along with excitement for the start of spring. Being the cold-natured person that I am, I tend to make hot cocktails this time of year. This month I’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with this Baileys chai recipe.

Chai tea is a soothing black tea blended with Indian herbs and spices. Legend has it that thousands of years ago, a king concocted chai tea in an attempt to create a beverage with healing properties. When hot chai tea is mixed with Baileys Irish Cream and vanilla vodka, it results in a creamy, spicy, and aromatic hot cocktail that you’ll be sure to enjoy throughout the frigid winter months.

I like to use TOPO Distillery vodka, made right here in North Carolina. It can easily be infused with vanilla. Simply split 4-5 vanilla beans down the middle and place them in a 375-milliliter bottle and allow to infuse for at least 3-4 days or until your desired level of vanilla flavor is reached.

Need more hot cocktail inspiration to warm you up throughout the winter season? Try my Carolina hot toddy or hot buttered rum. What is your favorite cold weather cocktail? Please let me know in the comments below.

Baileys Chai Cocktail

6 ounces hot chai tea

½ to 1 ounce vanilla vodka (more or less to taste)

2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream

Cinnamon stick (optional)

Orange slice (optional)

In a mug, mix Baileys Irish Cream and vanilla vodka. Add hot chai tea and stir well to combine. Garnish with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick.

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Brinkley lives in coastal North Carolina, and blogs about all things food. She is regular contributor on the Our State website, Parade Magazine’s, and