3 cups water
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1 - 3" cinnamon stick
25 cardamom pods
2 or more slices orange
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon shredded ginger
4 or 5 cups organic unfiltered apple juice
Dark rum to taste (optional) (I use 1 pint)
1) Bring water to a low simmer in a medium saucepan. Add all spices (except peppercorns and ginger) and orange slices.
2) Place pepper and ginger in a tea ball and add to the mix for about five minutes and then remove. Add apple juice and leave on the stove for at least 45 minutes. After this time add rum if you wish and serve.
This would be nice to make a lot of and leave on the stove for a party, as it makes the whole house smell cozy. Also, if you choose not to use any rum, the cider will be a little tart, so you might want to add some agave nectar or other sweetener.
If you don't like the flavor of vanilla or ginger, you could safely leave these out altogether, however the other spices are essential to the chai flavor.