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Now that the month of December is in full swing, the temperatures are finally starting to drop and feel like what we, in South Carolina, call “Winter”. It is a bone chilling 45° outside; I am worried I might have to forsake my usual winter wardrobe of heavier cardigans and scarves and buy a real grown-up coat to get through the season. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
In lieu of an expensive coat purchase, I decided to root through our fridge and dusty liquor cabinet to see if there might be something to keep me warm. Our liquor cabinet ( well, cart, really ) is a strange thing. Filled with random liqueur samples from my husband’s days working for a Wine/Liquor Distributor, good whiskey for visitors, bourbon for cooking, half a bottle of Southern Comfort leftover from a holiday punch recipe, and vodka and tequila, because emergencies happen, our liquor collection is more of something that just happened than something we’ve curated.
This means, for the most part, that when I get a wild hair and decide to make a cocktail at home, advanced purchases need to be made. Unfortunately, the law in South Carolina dictates that liquor ( which also, to my horror, includes sherry, port, and madeira ), may not be sold after 7 pm or on Sundays at all. Apparently wanting to buy a bottle of vodka at 10 am is something the state sees as a great idea, but a glass of sherry after dinner at 9 pm on a Friday makes me a heathen… but I digress.
So, left with only the items already in my home after the 7 pm cut off, I decided to get a little creative. I’m not one much for super sweet drinks, but I did want something that had enough sugar to make the drink smooth. Being a huge chai fan, and already having a bottle of pomegranate juice on hand, I though I’d try my hand at something a little spicy and a little sweet.
This drink is not super sweet, as I said earlier, but it doesn’t have that strong vodka bite, either. The tea gives it a spicy, wintry flavor. The fresh sprig of thyme is an optional garnish, but I really loved the way the earthy, woodsy scent of the thyme blended with the exotic flavors of chai and sweet pomegranate to make the drink taste warm, even though it’s ice cold!
- 1.5 oz pomegranate juice
- 1.5 oz brewed chai tea
- 1.5 oz part vodka
- 1.5 oz Ginger Ale
- Fresh thyme, for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake the pomegranate juice, chai tea, and vodka.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale ( approximately 2 oz ).
- Top with a sprig of thyme.