Russian Tea is a staple in our home during the winter months. I generally keep the Russian Tea Mix in a pint jar in my cabinets, but I also make a fresh brewed version and keep it in the refrigerator. On those chilly mornings, just gently shake up the jug, pour a cup and microwave it for a couple of minutes. Yes, I used the word “microwave”. If you read my Pumpkin Latte blog, you know I don’t use the microwave for general cooking and basically just use it to melt butter and heat things up. I don’t even have the microwave in my kitchen! But it’s nearby so I can heat up a cup of this wonderful Fresh Hot Russian Tea. This is the recipe I make every year for our family Christmas dinner and keep it hot in a large slow cooker. It’s made by brewing some tea bags and adding cinnamon, cloves, orange and pineapple juices. So delicious! Keep a ladle handy laying on a saucer and let the guests help themselves. So heartwarming and delicious! If you’re looking for the dry version, click Russian Tea Mix for the recipe!
Have you ever wondered where Hot Russian Tea got it’s name? I have, but never took the time to find out until now. Well, here’s what I found out. Not much. According to Wikipedia, it is believed to have originated in America, probably in the Southeastern US, and probably has no link to Russia or the surrounding areas. I was actually hoping for a really interesting story, but I got nothing. Sorry folks, but I do have an awesome recipe to share with you!
Here’s how I make it:
Fresh Hot Russian Tea
In a large stock pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Put a lid on the pot to help bring it to a boil faster. Just saying…
Add 7 regular single serving size tea bags. I typically pull off the paper tabs and tie the strings together for easy removal.
Add the cinnamon stick and whole cloves in with the tea bags, put on the lid and let it brew on lowest heat for 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bags (leave the cinnamon and cloves) and squeeze the water out of them.
Add the pineapple juice.
Just a little tip here. I buy the large can of 100% pineapple juice. Of course it’s too much for one recipe of this Russian Tea, so here’s what I do. I’ve found that if I measure 1 3/4 cups of juice for this batch, I can make three more pint freezer containers with each having approximately 1 3/4 cups each. I keep them in the freezer and I have them for my next batches of tea, or any other recipe that calls for pineapple juice! As you can see here, I don’t even thaw them out completely. Just enough to allow it to fall out of the container. Then I use it as a measuring cup (2 cups equals a pint container) for the orange juice. One less thing to have to clean!
Then add the orange juice, sugar and another 6 cups of water.
Cover and bring all of that delicious goodness to a low boil and reduce heat to your lowest setting. From this point, it’s really all about how long you want the spices to flavor the tea. The longer it simmers, the more robust the flavors. I tend to let it simmer for at least another 30 minutes or longer. Totally up to you.
Round about the time that you’re ready to serve, squeeze in the fresh lemon juice. Please don’t use the bottled kind, it just makes all the difference in the world!
Now it’s ready to serve or put it in a slow cooker on low for a dinner party!
By the way, it makes your home smell so good!
For me, I let it cool, pour it into a gallon jug straining out the cinnamon stick and cloves and put it in the refrigerator. When I’m on my way out the door to go to work, I gently shake the jug to get it mixed together, pour a cup and microwave it for a minute or two. So convenient!
What is your favorite winter beverage?