I remember the day I sipped on some of the best hot chocolate I had ever tasted. I was still living in America and I was at one of my favorite coffee shops (side note: the owners had also lived abroad for quite some time). I noticed they had a new item on the menu: chai hot chocolate. I was skeptical but decided to give it a try.

My world of hot chocolate was changed forever! Maybe I’m being a little dramatic but it was very delicious. The taste of the spices worked so well with the cocoa and left this wonderful aftertaste on my tastebuds.

Unfortunately, that little family-owned coffee shop was the only place I could find where I could purchase a cup of this chocolately goodness. And I’ll be honest, since moving overseas, I had forgotten all about chai hot chocolate and how wonderful it tasted.

But then an article showed up on my Facebook feed about “hot chocolates you must try”. I was intrigued so I clicked on the article. It was then that I was reunited with my old, hot chocolate friend. I read through the recipe and, naturally, it was necessary to make some substitutions (#expatlife).

Today I wanted to share the recipe for both the chai spice mix and the chai hot chocolate. It’s my early Christmas present to you.

For the chai spice you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

*If you have cardamom on your spice rack, then you can use 1 teaspoon of that in place of 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Make Your Own Chai Hot Chocolate

Once you’ve added all of your spices to the bowl, you can mix it together. Now you have a bowl full of chai spice that you can store away for later use.

DIY Chai Spice | Taking Route

Make Your Own Chai Spice | Taking Route

Now you’re ready to make yourself a cup (actually, 2 cups) of chai hot chocolate.

For the hot chocolate you will need:

  • 2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chai spice

Mix all of these ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

A little tip: pre-mix your sugar with your cocoa powder before adding it to the milk so that it dissolves a little easier. You’re welcome.


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When my husband took his first tip of his very first chai hot chocolate, he said, “Mmmm it tastes like Christmas.” I hadn’t really thought of it before but the spices do make a pleasant, Christmassy scent. Usually homemade eggnog is our go-to beverage for this time of year but I think we can make some room for this delicious hot chocolate.

Make Your Own Chai Hot Chocolate

Now, sit back and sip your chai treat. If you live on the equator like me, sip it in a room with the AC as low as possible and pretend like it’s hot-chocolate-weather. Am I right??


What’s your favorite beverage for the Christmas season? Do you have any recommended recipes that use chai spice?? I have a lot of it now πŸ˜‰