Inspired by the comforting flavors in chai, this mule was created to pair with the roller coaster ride that is fall in Virginia—“warming, comforting, autumnal spices but also zesty ginger beer and refreshing flavors,” says Nikki Drake, the bar director at 2941 Restaurant in Washington, D.C. “You can drink it during one of the surprise fall heat waves as easily as on a chilly evening.” It’s actually on the zero-proof section of the cocktail menu at 2941, but a splash of vodka makes it more spirited.
This recipe originally appeared as part of “3 Ginger Beer Cocktails to Spice Up Your Holidays.”
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and roll into a Julep cup filled with crushed ice.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
*Chai spice syrup: Gently crush 15 green cardamom pods using mortar and pestle or flat edge of chef’s knife. Place cardamom pods on baking sheet along with 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise pod, 5 allspice berries and 3 cloves. Toast in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Bring 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to simmer in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Add toasted spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out solids, pour syrup in container and store in refrigerator up to several weeks.
**Ginger shrub: Add 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup sugar to small saucepan and bring to simmer until sugar dissolves. Add 1 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Strain out solids and store shrub in refrigerator up to several months.