chai cocktail with golden raisin rum & vanilla chai syrup

a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.  the rum takes on the subtle golden sweetness of the raisins, & the simple syrup is infused with chai spices, ginger & vanilla.  shaken with fresh-squeezed lime juice & topped with fresh grated nutmeg, this chai cocktail is seriously winter cocktail perfection.  cheers!chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

hi friends.  it has been a while. how are you doing? how was your holiday & how has the start of 2017 been for you so far? 

our holiday season ended up being bittersweet.  in the weeks leading up to christmas, we sadly had an unexpected death on chris’ side of the family that caused me to hit the brakes a bit on the blog & the cookies & the gift wrapping & the ugly sweater parties, & instead shift focus on being present with loved ones to not only mourn a profound loss but also celebrate a beautiful, beautiful life. 

after christmas, chris & i returned to minneapolis craving something new, refreshing, & happy.  we treated each other to a belated christmas gift – a 9-week old german shepherd puppy.  we’ve been dying to make this addition to our family ever since one of our very first dates in milwaukee.  i introduced our little guy a few weeks back on instagram & he’s been nothing but wonderfully lively & mischievous ever since then.  (& don’t worry, i have a big post on him in the works – but in the meantime, be sure to follow along with @playswellwithbutter on instagram for more puppy updates!)

so…life so far in 2017 has consisted of blissfully enjoying the simpler things: trying to keep up with the pup & finding a new routine to fall into as a small family.  & i freaking love it. 

because our pup is adjusting to his brand new home, we’ve been staying in a bit more than usual lately.  no places to go, no people to see.  just the two of us enjoying a cozy & relaxing night in our home together with our little guy.  it’s one of my favorite 2017 rituals that we have. 

a cheese board is usually involved.  pizza is sometimes ordered.  we generally can come to an agreement on what movie to watch after scrolling through netflix & disagreeing on almost everything (any other married folks out there who can relate??).

oh, & cocktails.  cocktails are always involved. 

like this golden raisin rum chai cocktail.chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

omg omg omg omg omg omg. 

you guys know that i am fanatical for anything chai, but chai spices serving as the flavor base for the most delicious cocktail imaginable??chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

come.  on.  game over!

the inspiration for this cocktail came from one of my favorite craft cocktail spots of all time, merchant in madison, wisconsin.  located just off the capitol square, merchant is madison’s original craft cocktail joint & they serve up cocktails & elevated bar food that is just as comforting as it is inventive & delicious.  we have family & friendship ties that bring us to madison pretty regularly & whenever we are in town it’s imperative that we stop in to see what’s new on the cocktail list at merchant. 

& by cocktail list, i mean cocktail book. 

seriously, the number of cocktails developed by the mixology masterminds behind their bar program is craaaaaazy. 

what’s even crazier is that they’re all delicious.  yes.  all of them.

so when we stopped in last fall while we were in town for a wedding, & i saw that one of their featured fall cocktails, dubbed, “the north remembers,” highlighted golden raisin-infused rum & vanilla chai syrup, i nearly lost my mind.    chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

the best part is that “the north remembers” was every bit delicious as it sounded.  i drank two. 

(& then i made chris take me back the next morning for two more over brunch.  i wish i was lying.  i’m not.  totally serious.  you can’t make this stuff up.)

this chai cocktail starts with a golden raisin-infused rum.  chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

add golden raisins & a gold rum of your choice (i just use bacardi – it’s a staple in our bar at home!) to a sealable container.  allow the rum & raisins to sit for twelve hours or overnight until the raisins are plump.chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

the gold rum’s already caramelly flavors are enhanced by the sweetness of the raisins.  chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

golden raisin-infused rum makes the perfect complement for warm chai spices… 

the next layer of flavor to this chai cocktail is a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup.  chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

simple syrup is basically fancy-talk that translates to sugar water, & it’s a staple for any home bar.  you can buy little artisanal bottles of simple syrup at your local liquor store, but honestly, don’t waste your money.  simple syrup is SO easy to make at home, & there are so many different flavor combinations you can play with for cocktails a-plenty.  

to make a simple syrup, you heat water & sugar together in a pot over a medium boil until the sugar dissolves.  

for a vanilla chai variation, i start with brown sugar for that deep caramel flavor, & add a vanilla bean & warm chai spices (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves….mmmmm…) to the mix.  chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

you can store your simple syrup in a sealed container in the fridge for about 2 weeks.  continue to enjoy with chai cocktails, or make yourself a chai latte!

to make your chai cocktail, combine your infused rum & chai simple syrup in a shaker with lime juice & a pinch of salt.

shake, shake, shake.  shake, shake.  shaaaaake and……voila!chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

top with a grate of fresh nutmeg & enjoy! chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

this chai cocktail is seriously addictive.  the golden & caramelly flavor of the rum lends itself perfectly to the deep flavor of warm chai spices & the zing of the lime juice cuts right through the sweetness of both the rum & the simple syrup are balanced.

an elegant, balanced, & delicious cocktail that is perfectly festive for a winter gathering with friends – or perfectly cozy for a date night at home with your boo.chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

cheers!

chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused rum and vanilla chai simple syrup
Serves 1
a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup, just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this holiday season.
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Prep Time
12 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
12 hr 20 min
Prep Time
12 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
12 hr 20 min
2440 calories
342 g
0 g
1 g
5 g
0 g
1128 g
253 g
303 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1128g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2440
Calories from Fat 6
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 253mg
11%
Total Carbohydrates 342g
114%
Dietary Fiber 6g
24%
Sugars 303g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
27%
Iron
27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
for the golden raisin rum
  1. 1 cup golden raisins
  2. 2 cups gold rum
for the vanilla chai simple syrup
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
  4. 1 vanilla bean, halved & seeds scraped
  5. 1 3" stick of cinnamon
  6. 2 allspice berries
  7. 10 cloves
  8. 2 star anise
for the chai cocktail
  1. 1.5 oz golden raisin-infused rum (above)
  2. 0.5 oz vanilla chai simple syrup (above)
  3. 0.5 oz fresh lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
  4. pinch of kosher salt
  5. nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
for the golden raisin-infused rum
  1. combine golden raisins & gold rum in sealable, air tight container, & allow them to sit together for 12-24 hours until the raisins are plump & the rum is infused with the sweetness of the raisins.
  2. strain & store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
for the vanilla chai simple syrup
  1. combine water, brown sugar, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, & star anise in a heavy bottomed pot & bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer & cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. strain & store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
for the chai cocktail
  1. combine golden raisin rum, vanilla chai simple syrup, lime juice, & kosher salt in a shaker with ice.
  2. shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  3. strain & top with fresh grated nutmeg (optional, but encouraged).
  4. cheers!
beta
calories
2440
fat
1g
protein
5g
carbs
342g
more
plays well with butter http://playswellwithbutter.com/
chai cocktail | cocktail | hygge ideas | date night | a chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & a homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for date night at home as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season.

afraid you’ll miss a recipe or entertaining idea?  be sure to follow along with plays well with butter on bloglovin, & for daily foodie musings & tips, follow along with @playswellwithbutter on instagram & facebook!

so tell me, what cocktails are you loving lately? what’s your go-to cocktail to make when you’re at home?? what’s your favorite way to cozy up at home with your honey?  let me know in the comments below.  i would LOVE to chat!!

4 Comments

  1. Girl, your pictures are INCREDIBLE. Teach me your ways! But serious;y, your photography is so amazing – are you using Erickson Woodworks boards? And I’m obvs into this cocktail – and that copper cocktail shaker.
    Ellie | Hungry by Nature recently posted…January FavoritesMy Profile

  2. So sorry to hear about your loss, Jess. You’ve been missed around here but I’m glad you were able to take time to enjoy your newly expanded family! Oh and as always, this recipe looks INSANE. The thought of chai spices in a cocktail has me swooningggg. Perfect for (wild) Friday nights in!

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