Dessert cocktails are a special indulgence. Tequila is not typically in the mix, which psh, needs to change. So, I decided to do just that and develop a tequila dessert cocktail. Yes, I’m brave, and yes, I was successful.
The initial challenge was identifying flavors that complement and elevate the tequila’s flavor while also providing sweet satisfaction. I decided to give chai a try, with Mexican hot chocolate as its counterpart. The combination offers a sweet yet spicy combination for an overall satisfying flavor.
I tried infusing tequila with a variety of spices synonymous with traditional chai — clove, cinnamon and cardamom pods. While they worked great as solo infusions, they didn’t provide the well-rounded chai experience I was looking for. A traditional chai teabag infusion was also too mellow. Then, I discovered a vanilla chai teabag variety that was the key to success. The vanilla provided a contrast to the savory spices.
When infusing tequila with teas, use teabags, not powders. They infuse quickly, are easy to control, and provide the right balance of ingredients. Plus, they’re much more convenient because they’re already blended.
After you’ve infused your tequila with vanilla chai teabags (learn how to infuse alcohol here), it’s time to tackle the Mexican hot chocolate. The trick is to make it more concentrated by halving the amount of recommended liquid. You can also use a non-dairy milk, if you’d prefer. Make the Mexican hot chocolate in a saucepan as directed on the package, let it cool, and then combine in a blender to ensure the spices and sugar crystals are well dissolved.
Chill the mixture, then add the vanilla chai-infused tequila and heavy cream to complete the cocktail. If you don’t want the heavy cream (and its velvety finish), omit it.
Amp up the presentation by serving this vanilla chai dessert martini with a Mexican hot chocolate mix. If you can’t find the powdered version, simply throw the traditional pucks into a food blender and make it yourself.