This is a little different from most spiced teas which seem to follow along the lines of Friendship Tea or Russian Tea, both good – but this isn’t that recipe. This is a Tea Juice Blend with fall flavors – meant to be served warm as is or cold as a punch. My original recipe states to serve warm in a silver bowl or cold in a crystal one – la di da…I serve it off the stovepot or crockpot when I want it warm, and transfer it to a nice big mug.
If you serve it as written, it can be a bit pricey, mostly due to the cost of the pear juice; I’ve included substitutions in parentheses, and bought in a budget version for $2.92, about 20 cents a cup, as well as given a few suggestions as to how to lower the cost even more.
Recipe: Spiced Tea, makes 15 cups
- 6 tea bags, either Rose Pouchong or Jasmine (I use Lipton’s)
- 6 cups of water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
- 2 cups of pear juice (or apple juice, or even better apple cider)
- 2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 2 lemons, juiced
In a small pot, bring water to a boil, steep tea. Remove tea bags – do not squeeze. Set aside.
To a larger pot, add the water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add tea and juices (I throw in the rinds of the lemon an orange) and simmer 10 minutes. Remove rinds, gently squeezing to wring out the moisture entrapped in them.
Serve as is, warm, or chill and add soda water to make a punch.
Money and Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
If you’re making this for a party, it can all be made ahead. For ourselves, I make it often and pour into a pitcher to serve at will; we warm our individual mugs in the microwave. Yes, I am having one now, btw!
- Tea: Stock up in the summer when it’s very cheap or even free – as mentioned above, just to keep cost down I use Lipton’s tea. I can often find it on sale with coupons.
- Cinnamon and cloves – I use the whole spices, but you could do with about a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 to a 1/4 teaspoon of cloves; it will just make the tea a little murky. Cost: negligible
- Citrus Fruit – often on sale in the fall and winter; this is a perfect time to make it. I have, when I’ve had no lemon, added about a tablespoon of real lemon just to see…it wasn’t too bad. This needs some acidic component to keep it from being too cloying. Lemons and oranges were each 80 cents for a total of $1.20.
- Juices: The pineapple, pear, cider combination is just about perfect – but expensive. Try substituting the apple or apple cider for the pear. I will sometimes use a concentrate, like pineapple orange and skip the actual orange. (If I do this, I don’t simmer the 10 minutes, I just heat through. If there is added sugar, reduce the amount in the recipe.) Since apple juice is so sweet, the cider does help develop the taste of the recipe. Always buy on sale with a coupon! I used 4 cups apple cider and 2 cups pineapple. Apple cider: $1.26. Pineapple: $1.45.
- Sugar: Stock up around any “baking” type holidays, my cost today 21 cents.
You could cut back on the sugar in this recipe, bit by bit, until you get it just where you like it. A one cup serving contains 32 percent of your vitamin C, based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 119 Calories; trace Fat (3.4% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 13mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.
Put Your Own Spin on It:
Use the basic idea and go wild with your own flavors and spices. There’s certainly no wrong or right. I like to bring this to outdoor outings in the fall, either in a thermos, or over a fire or camp stove.
My payoff: This brings my family together and makes a simple night at home feel a little special. It does have some nutritional value, and the added water and tea cut the calories of the juices, while the juices cut the caffeine of the tea. A perfect marraige. In a day when so many are buying bottles of this or bottles of that at very steep prices, this is a homey substitute.
- ” Eating Good – Daniel Style!” Day 18 Drinks (thepreparedtable73.wordpress.com)
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- Mulled wine – it’s never worth taking short cuts when wine is involved (cookingconfidential.wordpress.com)