Hot take: if we’re going to be drinking mocktails or cocktails with dairy-filled cheese boards and big, indulgent meals during the holidays, why not give them digestive benefits? It makes your taste buds happy. It makes your body happy. Everybody wins. This healthy mocktail recipe literally tastes like you’re at a fancy cocktail bar, and you’re going to be obsessed.
We’re going to make this drink super healthy by basically turning the simple syrup into an opportunity to make a decoction (a method in herbalism where you boil herbs and spices long enough to reap all of their therapeutic benefits. This recipe utilizes some of my favorite superfood spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger which serve up gut-healing, inflammation-fighting properties.
On top of those amazing benefits, we’ll add a splash of apple cider vinegar because of it’s flavor depth and incredible blood sugar balancing powers and also orange bitters, which up the digestive ante even more! Bitters are basically herbs extracted in alcohol, and as you probably know, herbs have insanely well-researched healing properties. In fact, bitters were created specifically FOR their liver-stimulating properties and digestive benefits. SO while you’re sipping this mocktail or cocktail if you choose to add liquor, you’re reaping benefits for your gut, mood, anxiety, hormones, and sleep.
The flavors in this recipe are so warm, sweet, spiced and citrusy. It’s the perfect drink for winter and has old fashioned with a Middle Eastern twist vibes. If you’re more of a cranberry cocktail drinker, check out my Cranberry Rosemary Digestive Mocktail recipe! It’s also so, so good for you.
All About That Base: Masala Chai
You’ll get started by making a Masala Chai Inspired Simple Syrup that will make your whole house smell AMAZING. The simple syrup recipe makes six to eight servings, which can be made up to a week ahead of time and stored in the fridge. The rest of this recipe makes one mocktail, so if you’re enjoying it with a friend, make sure you double only the mocktail part of the recipe!
Watch it being made!
Enjoy, and tag me if you make it on Instagram (@lizmoody)—I can’t wait to see!Print
For the Masala Chai Inspired Simple Syrup:
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons cardamom pods
- 1 star anise
- 2 inches fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
For One Mocktail:
- 2.5 tablespoons chai simple syrup
- 1–2 orange peels plus the juice of 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 shot of bourbon or vodka (optional)
- 1–2 dashes orange bitters
- Splash of ginger ale or ginger kombucha
- Make the simple syrup. In a medium pot, bring all simple syrup ingredients to a boil over low heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to one hour.
- Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes with the lid on, then strain the syrup into a glass jar. This will make enough syrup for 6-8 drinks.
- To make each mocktail, use a peeler to peel 2 pieces of the orange before juicing it. Fold one peel in half and place it inside your cocktail glass. The oil will spritz out, then wipe the peel around the inside of the glass.
- Add ice and all remaining cocktail ingredients. Stir and garnish with the second orange peel and cinnamon stick. Enjoy!