chai cocktail with golden raisin rum & vanilla chai syrup

a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

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. (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. a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

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. a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

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??

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. a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

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. 

the best part is that “the north remembers” was every bit delicious as it sounded. i drank 2. 

(& then i made chris take me back the next morning for 2 more over brunch. i wish i was lying. i’m not. totally serious. 🙈 you can’t make this stuff up.)

chai cocktails are perfect for cozy cold nights this fall & winter. a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

so here’s the deal. there’s a couple of steps to making these chai cocktails, but please don’t let that scare you off from this recipe. there’s nothing difficult about it – you just need a couple of minutes to make the infused rum & chai syrup. 

the base of this chai cocktail is a golden raisin rum, which couldn’t be easier to throw together. add golden raisins & a gold rum of your choice (i just use bacardi – it’s a staple in our bar at home!) and steep for 12 hours (or overnight until) the raisins are plump. the gold rum’s already caramelly flavors are enhanced by the sweetness of the raisins & the infused rum is the perfect complement for the flavor of warm chai spices. a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

chai comes to this cozy party in the form of a homemade vanilla simple syrup. i use brown sugar (again, its deep caramelly flavor is the perfect addition to the cocktail), & add vanilla bean & warm chai spices (ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves….mmmmm…) to the mix. (as a bonus…you can use this chai syrup for up to 2 weeks in chai cocktails or chai lattes!)

when you’re ready to serve, shake the rum with the chai syrup (& a little bit of lime), top with a grate of fresh nutmeg, & enjoy!

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. a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

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
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!
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!!
pin this chai cocktail for later:a cozy chai cocktail with golden raisin-infused spiced rum & homemade vanilla chai simple syrup. this chai cocktail is just as perfect for a cozy date night in as it is for celebrating with friends & loved ones this winter season. the perfect cozy winter nightcap. cheers! #playswellwithbutter #chai #rum #hygge #datenightathome #cocktail #cocktailrecipe #wintercocktail #winterdrink #cozycocktail #cozy

About jess

i help modern gals turn everyday moments into celebrations with recipes that are just as easy as they are elegant.

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

    • thank you, ellie! i am using some erickson boards. they were the best christmas gift – totally recommend. absolute game-changer!

  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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