Southern style "Russian Tea"


These teas can resemble virtually any flavor imaginable.

Southern style "Russian Tea"

Postby ThinkingOutLoud » Apr 11th, '08, 13:04

Hey folks!

Do any of you with Southern roots know about a homemade tea concoction we in the South like to call "Russian Tea?" It's a blend of Tang, instant tea, powdered lemonade, sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg. It may sound awful, but it's nectar of the Gods to my clan, especially around Christmas. Of course, it's deadly to the waistline and, I'll admit, a little disgusting in the sugar / overly processed department, so I'd like to find a true tea replacement. I've tried in vain to find a flavored tea that matches the spiced (very) citrus taste and am just wondering if anyone out there has a suggestion. Thanks much,

~a
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Postby Mary R » Apr 11th, '08, 13:21

My initial impulse would be to try tweaking a "Spiced Spiked Cider" recipe, preferably one that employs Constant Comment teabags. The one I'm thinking of goes:

    5 1/3 cups water
    7 Constant Comment Tea bags (or another employing orange and spice flavors)
    2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
    3 2/3 cups apple cider
    2 cups light rum
    5 cinnamon sticks, cut in half
    2 Tbs cloves in a sachet

    Brew the tea by bringing the water to a boil and steeping the bags for no more than 5 min. Remove the bags. Pour the tea into a crock pot, dissolve the sugar int he tea, then add the cider, rum, and spices. Dilute rum with more tea/cider to taste. Heat on crockpot's high setting until warm, then switch to low. Serve.


I'd probably make a similar strong tea mix with a tea that had orange and spice flavors, then add it to orange juice--probably from a bottle--and maybe 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I personally think Tang has a tangerine taste to it, so I'd likely buy an orange/tangerine blended juice. I'd throw all the stuff together in a large pot on the stove (or a crock pot), add a similar amount of brown sugar to the recipe above and add cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to taste. I'd simmer everything together to give the spices time to infuse, then remove from the heat and chill if the drink is to be served cold.

I've not done this myself, so I don't know if the juices would overpower the tea, or make the mixture too thick. I'd probably brew up extra tea to help dilute the drink to taste.
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Postby ThinkingOutLoud » Apr 11th, '08, 13:26

Thanks much, Mary! I'm hoping to find something I can have by the cup (or oversized mug as usually works in my case). I'll keep your recipe, though, and really do appreciate your taking the time to work it up for me. I've tried a wide variety of bagged teas, none of which fit the bill, and have played some with brewing mixes of black and blood orange with lemon peel and then adding Splenda, but of course then I don't get the lovely cinnamon/nutmeg/clove addition. Anyway, thanks again. Much appreciated!!
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Postby Mary R » Apr 11th, '08, 13:35

You're welcome! What I gave you before was just sort of a theoretical supposition. Here's a tested recipe I found that doesn't employ the powders:

    Russian Spice Tea
    6 cups boiling water
    6 tea bags
    2 sticks cinnamon
    8-10 cloves
    1 quart pineapple juice
    1 quart orange juice
    1-3 ounce can frozen lemon concentrate-undiluted
    1/2-1 cup sugar

    Steep tea and spices in boiling water and remove. Add sugar. Mix juices and lemon concentrate in large pitcher. Add tea mixture. Dilute to taste.


Also, if you want a real 'tea' that you can do by the cup, Adagio has a flavored tea called "Christmas" that is flavored with orange, cinnamon, and cloves. You could probably blend it with their lemon flavored black, or orange flavored black, or their blood orange herbal and see if that works.

You could even use their "Blends" option and have them do all the mixing for you. Blends usually run about 10 for a 4 oz tin.
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Russian Tea

Postby treazure » Oct 20th, '08, 12:45

Oh Lordy Lord, I have to mix up pounds of that stuff for all of our sons' Christmas presents every year. Number One son drank it by the gallon when stationed in Anchorage. Being on the flight line, it was about the only thing that helped keep him warm. If I remember correctly, last Christmas's Russian Tea mix came out to almost 20 pounds of the stuff.

I'm going to try Mary's recipe for this Thanksgiving's crowd.

If you love Russian Tea, you might like Bigelow's Constant Comment as well. It was my first love when I discovered tea and has remained on my top 10 list ever since. It's a good black tea with a predominant clove note in with the spices.
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