Pineapple, Pear, Cider and Citrus, this winter spiced tea blend is outstanding. Cinnamon and clove in just the right amount gently permeate this concoction. Served hot, this is a wonderful tea blend for a gathering inside or out, or even better, with loved ones in front of the fire.
Cold and cut with a little ginger ale or a clear soda, this tea serves a dual purpose as a punch. Not your standard “Friendship” or “Russian” tea, which of course are both good, this is a different animal, and I’m guessing this was originally an old recipe. Mine says to serve warm in a silver bowl or cold in crystal, but it works every bit as well in the crock pot or off the stove.
Pour this into a beautiful glass bottle or jar (I often browse second hand stores for things like this) and bring to an ailing friend – you’ll look like a hero and this tea will help revive anyone sick with a winter bug.
Made 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.
Spiced Tea, makes 15 cups
- 6 tea bags, either Rose Pouchong or Jasmine (I use Lipton’s)
- 6 cups of water
- 1 cup sugar (this can be drastically cut back or eliminated depending on your tastes)
- 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 tea 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. Add tea.
Serve as is, warm, or chill and add soda water to make a punch.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
- 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 with coupons – just to keep cost down I use Lipton tea.
- 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 juices on sale with a coupon! I used 4 cups apple cider and 2 cups pineapple. Apple cider: $1.26. Pineapple: $1.45. Consider juicing your own if you own a juicer or a great blender. I personally love the thickness of blended juices.
- 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 Pay Off:
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.