Homemade Russian Tea

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My homemade Russian Tea has black tea, spices, fresh lemon, and orange juice and makes for a warm comforting drink. It’s the perfect antidote for those cold winter eves. 

Homemade Russian Tea recipe

When my husband was a kid, his mom used to make him Russian Tea when he wasn’t feeling well. One night recently, it was cold. We were all cranky, and feeling under the weather. I got the idea to make Russian Tea for everyone. I didn’t drink it as a kid, so I did a search on the ol’ Google to find that it was a mixture of powdered tea mix, powdered orange drink, and powdered lemonade. I knew that I could do better — and I did!

My homemade version of Russian Tea starts with lots of warming spices, lemon peel, and black tea bags. After that steeps, I add some brown sugar, lemon, and orange juice. Then I ladle into mugs and serve with lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, and grating of fresh nutmeg.

This warm drink is delicious and my kids like that I make them a drink that their dad drank as a kid. It’s great if you are feeling a little under the weather or to warm you up after an afternoon of sledding.

Homemade Russian Tea recipe

What Is Russian Tea?

Russian tea dates back to 17th-century Eastern Europe when travelers and traders from the East introduced the Russian peoples to the hot beverage. It quickly caught on and became a staple, especially for aristocratic Russians. It consists of brewing a very strong black tea, adding sugar, then diluting it to taste. It reminds me of a cafe Americano, in that it is a potent brew that is watered down. As you can see from my recipe, Russian tea has developed through the years to include more ingredients and is more a treat than a staple.

Is Russian Tea Healthy?

Black tea has been linked with reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, while the spices contain anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory elements. It does, however, contain a considerable amount of sugar and, should you make this a cocktail, alcohol, which should always be drunk in moderation. So, yes, you can say Russian tea is healthy. Just don’t have too many of them or that sugar will catch up to you.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 2 cardamon pods, bruised
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 4 tea bags (black tea)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-fine granulated sugar
  • freshly ground nutmeg for garnish
  • lemon slices

How To – The Steps

  • Add water, cinnamon, allspice, cardamon, cloves, and lemon peel to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags, steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags.
  • Return to a low heat, Add lemon juice, orange juice, and brown sugar. Heat gently until warmed through. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Remove spices and peel.
  • Ladle into mugs. Grate fresh nutmeg on top and add a lemon slice.
Homemade Russian Tea recipe

FAQs

Can I add alcohol?

If you feel so inclined, you can make this a “hard” tea. Just add two ounces dark rum, brandy, or the Russian classic vodka per serving.

Which sugar do you use?

I use Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar.

Can you drink Russian tea cold?

Yes, you can. Many do, though I would make it hot first then let it cool. Throw some ice cubes in it then put it in the fridge. If you go this route, you may consider adding the aforementioned alcohol and making it a summer cocktail. Something like a Long Island Iced Tea.

How To Store Russian Tea

I usually like to bottle my leftover tea and put it in the fridge. But you don’t have to chill it. You can leave it out at room temperature (but out of direct sunlight) for 5-7 days. You can also freeze it for 3-4 months. Just let it thaw to room temperature then warm it up in the microwave or on the stove.

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Homemade Russian Tea recipe

Homemade Russian Tea

Baked Bree
This Russian Tea recipe utilizes fresh ingredients, making it warm and comforting, especially when you're feeling unwell or just need to warm up. You can also enhance it by adding a touch of rum or brandy, converting it into a warm cocktail.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 2 cardamon pods bruised
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 4 tea bags black tea
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 2 ounces dark rum or brandy per serving optional
  • Freshly ground nutmeg for garnish
  • Lemon slices

Instructions
 

  • Add water, cinnamon, allspice, cardamon, cloves, and lemon peel to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags, steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags.
  • Return to a low heat, Add lemon juice, orange juice, and brown sugar. Heat gently until warmed through. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Remove spices and peel.
  • Ladle into mugs, add rum if desired. Grate fresh nutmeg on top and add a lemon slice.

Notes

Recipe developed for Dixie Crystals by Bree Hester
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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