Masala Chai Martini

This Masala Chai Martini is an easy, elegant drink that needs only 3 ingredients!

Cold masala chai, vodka and orange liqueur are shaken together for a chilled, spiced cocktail.

This fun martini recipe is perfect for fall, whether at Halloween, Thanksgiving, cocktail parties or brunch.

A chai vodka martini in a martini glass with a cinnamon sugar rim and an orange peel twist on the rim

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Masala Chai Martini

Masala chai – with notes of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and more – is one of my favorite teas.

And since it’s a black tea, it has a nice, gentle boost of caffeine.

So when I tried a martini made with Earl Grey tea (a “mar-tea-ni”) from Nigella Lawson’s Christmas cookbook, I knew I had to try a version with masala chai.

Vodka makes sense not just because we’re making a martini but because its flavor (or lack thereof) won’t overpower the spices.

And the third and final ingredient is orange liqueur. Orange just naturally goes well with flavors like cinnamon and ginger.

Plus, most orange liqueurs are sweet to some degree or another, and that sweetness helps balance the tartness of the black tea.

Best of all, this masala tea cocktail is so easy to make, whether you’re making one or a big batch for a party. It’s equal parts of all 3 ingredients so you’ll remember how to make it without even needing a recipe.

If I want to bring a big batch to a party or brunch, I chill all the ingredients ahead of time, then mix them in a big thermos without ice. The thermos will keep everything cold.

 

What you need to make a Masala Chai Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. strongly brewed, cold masala chai (I like to let the tea bags steep for twice as long as the tea’s directions say)
  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 1.5 oz. orange liqueur, such as triple sec or Cointreau
  • ice
  • optional garnishes: cinnamon sticks or dusting of cinnamon, star anise, an orange peel, a few small chunks of candied ginger
  • for the cinnamon sugar rim you see in these photos, mix 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon with 1 tablespoon sugar; wet the rim of the glass with water, orange juice or lemon juice and dip the rim in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then shake and pour in the martini

See notes below the recipe for how to make bigger batches.

Equipment:

A fun martini recipe with masala tea and vodka in a martini glass with a cinnamon sugar rim and an orange twist on the rim

How to make a chai martini

Brew your chai ahead of time (letting the bag steep for twice as long as the directions say), let it cool down and then refrigerate until cold.

Add the chai, vodka and orange liqueur to a cocktail shaker.

Add the 3-4 ice cubes, cover the shaker and shake for 10-20 seconds, until the contents feel thoroughly chilled.

Strain into the martini glasses, add any optional garnishes and serve!

 

Substitutions and variations

  • I haven’t tried this with another spirit instead of vodka, but my first option would be tequila (clear or aged). Dark rum, bourbon or whiskey might work – if you try any of them, please let me know!
  • No orange liqueur? Use orange juice instead.
  • Add a dash of cream, milk, almond milk or coconut milk, which would make this like a chai latte martini.

 

Other recipes you might like:

  1. Pumpkin Cider Margarita
  2. Mulled Apple Cider
  3. Pomegranate Old-Fashioned
  4. Limoncello Spritz

Masala Chai Martini

This easy martini recipe needs only 3 ingredients for a fun, elegant drink. Masala chai - with notes of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and more - is shaken with vodka and orange liqueur. It's perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or any cocktail party or brunch.
Prep Time3 mins
Total Time3 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: chai cocktail, chai martini, chai vodka, masala chai
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • ounces strongly brewed, chilled masala chai (see notes)
  • ounces vodka
  • ounces orange liqueur, such as triple sec or Cointreau
  • ice
  • optional garnishes: cinnamon sticks or dusting of cinnamon, star anise, an orange peel, a few small chunks of candied ginger

Instructions

  • Add the chai, vodka and orange liqueur to a cocktail shaker.
  • Add 3-4 ice cubes, cover the shaker and shake for 10-20 seconds, until the contents feel thoroughly chilled.
  • Strain into the martini glasses, add any optional garnishes, and serve!

Notes

Note: recipe time does not include chilling time for the tea.
For a "strongly brewed" tea, I like to let the tea bags steep for twice as long as the directions say.
For the cinnamon sugar rim you see in these photos, mix 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon with 1 tablespoon sugar. Wet the rim of the glass with water, orange juice or lemon juice and dip the rim in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then shake and pour in the martini.
Substitutions and variations
  • I haven't tried this with another spirit instead of vodka, but my first option would be tequila (clear or aged). Dark rum, bourbon or whiskey might work - if you try any of them, please let me know!
  • No orange liqueur? Use orange juice instead.
  • Add a dash of cream, milk, almond milk or coconut milk, which would make this like a chai latte martini.
For a crowd
For 4 drinks: use 6 oz. (3/4 cup) of each of the 3 ingredients. Add to a big pitcher with ice and stir until chilled. Pour into glasses and garnish, if desired.
For 8 drinks: use 12 oz. (1.5 cups) of each of the 3 ingredients. Add to a big pitcher with ice and stir until chilled. Pour into glasses and garnish, if desired.

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