Suggest spiced drink recipes
June 17, 2007 10:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for non-alcoholic drink recipes that include spices.

I have a vast array of whole spices and want to start incorporating them into drinks. Unfortunately, the cookbooks I have don't offer many. There are some obvious drinks, like mulled cider, and I've found a unique one that includes cumin, tamarind, and mint. So, either hot or cold will do.

However, no alcohol. I don't drink, alcohol.

Any kind of spice will do, though I'm really wanting to use some whole spices like cumin, caraway, star anise, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, nutmeg, allspice, juniper berries, et cetera.
posted by BradNelson to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
a lassi might be your answer. It is a general term for a class of drinks in India that I think are all made with yogurt but I could be wrong on that. They can be sweet or salty and are often spiced. If you run a search on the internets for lassi recipes you will turn up a ton of really diverse ones.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:23 PM on June 17, 2007

I recently had a mango-ginger smoothie (made with fresh ginger, though) and it was fan-effin-tastic. There are tons of recipes online. I also like to sprinkle nutmeg on freshly-juiced pineapple juice.
posted by Brittanie at 10:44 PM on June 17, 2007

Mexican hot chocolate has some cinnamon in it and is very tasty!
There's another middle eastern beverage that I've found at the local deli that's almost a lassi. It's a thin yogurt with mint and a hell of a lot of salt in it. (Bleaargh! I'm never trying that again!) Maybe there are some odd soft drinks that'd be interesting too, like birch beer, sarsparilla, and of course there's that other class of beverages that's all about spices: tea.
posted by wzcx at 10:45 PM on June 17, 2007

Indian spiced tea (masala chai) is yummy. I don't remember the proportions or anything, but I think my roommate's recipe involved whole cardomom, a couple of peppercorns, maybe cloves, cinnamon and ginger. You boiled the tea and spices in milk, let it steep, and added a lot of sugar. I should hunt down a recipe.
posted by craichead at 10:50 PM on June 17, 2007

Oh yeah, I loves me some mexican hot chocolate. It's good in coffee too. I would also suggest making your own chai maybe.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:01 PM on June 17, 2007

posted by BrotherCaine at 11:48 PM on June 17, 2007

My mom always made Russian Tea.

Maybe some "mocktails" like a mock mojito.

Here is a star anise green tea recipe.
posted by Mozzie at 2:09 AM on June 18, 2007

Cloudy apple juice with cinnamon, either do it in a pan, or if in a rush, the microwave.. t'is gorgeous. Starbucks do a similar drink in certain countries, but I can't remember if there's any more to it than that.
posted by wackybrit at 2:40 AM on June 18, 2007

Thai iced tea?
posted by schroedinger at 4:26 AM on June 18, 2007

Timing is an issue with spice teas. For example, that masala chai will be dandy after the proper amount of time, but let it steep a minute too long and the peppercorns will rage all over everything. (Pepper really does have fruity notes to it, if you can keep its heat out of the way.)

I've lately been introduced to the wonders of drinking vinegar. Diluted, of course. One that's pretty popular here in the office has a large sprig of rosemary in the bottle.

And I'm certain that some of the more assertive spices, possibly even the aforementioned peppercorns, could add interesting notes to ginger ale.
posted by eritain at 5:14 AM on June 18, 2007

Arabic coffee with cardamom (Najjar is a very good brand, you might be able to find it in a local middle eastern grocery store) and Greek coffee with chicory are both very good. You can find recipes and other ideas here.

Aztec Cocoa has pepper, vanilla, ginger, and cloves.
posted by ciocarlia at 6:07 AM on June 18, 2007

We make non-alcoholic wassail frequently at Christmas. Online recipes abound - cinnamon, cloves and other spices. I'll second the coffee + chickory combination. Very good stuff, that.
posted by jquinby at 6:42 AM on June 18, 2007

Gosh--with all those spices, why just mix them into drinks when you can make them into your own liqueurs and infusions? Here are two sites to get you started, but with a little surfing, you'll be able to find hundreds of recipes:

I've had a lot of fun (perhaps too much) doing this; they only take a week or two to make, and if you order a bunch of cool bottles, you can even give them as gifts. I've had great luck with Sunburst Bottle company:

My best advice on the liqueurs is this: sweeten them gradually, and to taste. My first few liqueurs ended up too sweet, and tasted a bit too much like cough syrup. Also consider using everclear and diluting it to your desired strength; it's much cheaper than vodka with no discernable difference in taste after you've add sugar syrup.

Good luck!
posted by ad_hominem at 7:25 AM on June 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

A lot of those spices would be really good in a hot lemonade (tastier than it sounds!). I don't remember the exact proportions of sugar to lemon juice, but the basic recipe is to simmer sugar, water and spices for a while (10 minutes?), then stir in freshly sqeezed lemon juice and drink hot, or cold I suppose. It's sweet and sour and spicy and the best ever. Also good with vodka or whiskey for drinkers.
posted by robinpME at 7:50 AM on June 18, 2007

ad_hominem, unless I'm missing something, those ideas all have vodka or other alcohols for the solvent.

But it did lead me to muse that spiced sodas might be good. Found this recipe for spiced apple soda . You could probably take any concentrated type juice (homemade or frozen), add spices as suggested by recipes for wassail or other punches, then either use with soda water as a more dilute drink, or carbonate yourself as the apple soda recipe does. Add cream for a italian soda.
posted by artifarce at 9:02 AM on June 18, 2007

I do like a nice, hot Wassail.

Stephen's makes a passable powdered version, but the really good stuff seems to come from recipes that make vats at a time.

I know there are consumer-sized recipes out there, though.
posted by SlyBevel at 9:07 AM on June 18, 2007

You could make a nice soda from rose syrup, rose hips, cardamom, and soda water.

Or a nice peach iced tea with star anise. Mango and cumin go together pretty well, but I am not sure that I would like to drink it. I had a great payaya, ginger, red pepper drink once.

White grape juice and white peppercorns might be good, too!
posted by rmless at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2007

posted by naturesgreatestmiracle at 8:33 PM on June 18, 2007

An Indian friend of mines makes chai by crushing whole cardamoms (with a big rock) and and then steeping them with black tea (adding milk etc as well). Delicious. The only tea I could imagine drinking regularly.
posted by MadamM at 10:12 PM on June 18, 2007

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