Redeeming My Christmas Tea
I just created my first batch of themed holiday mugs that are going into the next restock. Three things crossed my mind as I was glazing them:
1: Why has it taken me seven years to do this?
2: Why don't I have my own holiday mug?
3: I need to make a batch of my holiday tea!
Then the 4th thought: the only redeeming quality about this tea is the nostalgia.
The original recipe calls for Tang, instant lemonade mix, instant iced tea mix, sugar and spices. Perhaps you know what tea I speak of. We called it Tang Tea in our family but it's also known as Russian Tea, Friendship Tea, Spiced Tea or Holiday Tea.
Since having a brush with the C word last year, I've been adding things into my diet to help reduce the chances of a recurrence. Once of those things is chaga mushroom tea (lab studies show promising results for strengthening the immune system and fighting cancer) which, suprisingly, tastes almost exactly like black tea. It was here that the idea took full form: I decided to try really redeeming the holiday tea by swapping the processed mixes with more natural alternatives and...
I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW CLOSE THIS TEA TASTES TO THE ORIGINAL!!!
And you probably already have everything to make it:
- 8 oz (1 c.) thawed orange juice concentrate
- 4 oz (1/2 c.) lemon juice (3-4 lemons, squeezed)
- 4 oz (1/2 c.) honey or favorite liquid sweetener
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground clove
Mix together and store in the fridge in an airtight container or freeze into standard 1 oz ice cubes. Prepare hot black (or chaga) tea and add in syrup in a 3 parts tea to 1 part syrup ratio.
That being said, as I was researching the recipe, there are variations that include a teaspoon of nutmeg or allspice, or both. Personally, they change the nostalgic quality, so I don't include them. Also, play with the tea to syrup ratio. I might like my tea tangier than you may prefer.
Anyhoo, if this old school Friendship tea has been a part of your holiday tradition, I hope that my healthier version hits the sweet spot for you 💖
Oh, and here are the Evergreen mugs