Appalachia Appalachian Food Christmas

Russian Tea – The Drink for Christmas

Russian Tea for Christmas in Appalachia

I had never even heard of Russian Tea before I met The Deer Hunter-much less tasted it. The first Russian Tea I ever drank was made by Miss Cindy-and her recipe is still my favorite.

You need:

  • 2 quarts of water
  • 4 tea bags (2 family size)
  • half of a large can of pineapple juice (freeze or chill the other half for your next batch of tea)
  • 1 small can frozen orange juice 12 oz. (or just use 12 ozs of orange juice that works well too)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon (or 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of sugar or a little less if you don’t like it so sweet

Use about a quart of the water to brew the tea-then add all the rest of the ingredients and heat till the sugar is dissolved. If you don’t drink it all in one day-it stores really well in the frig-and can be warmed up a cup at a time in the microwave.

print-recipe-for-russian-tea (you may need to RIGHT click on the link and open in a new window to print)

Funny how we pick up new traditions along the way. As I said at the beginning of this post, I had never even heard of Russian Tea before I met Miss Cindy, but after being married to her son for over 20 years now I can’t imagine a Christmas without it.

Tipper

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Adriane
    January 1, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I personally have never had that tea, but as one of my dearest friends is Russian, I am puzzled by the lack of Vodka. I assure you he would have it sauced up and proclaim it better than egg nog for the holidays. Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Oh and one more thing, my tall dark-haired son was the first person to walk in today after his night shift at work. Does it count even if he lives here? I sure need the luck.

  • Reply
    Dolores
    December 22, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Yum! I have made this in another version. It was made with Tang, juice form from a powdered drink. I have made the above recipe; I really enjoy it your way. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Brenda
    December 22, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I use this same recipe…love it!
    Merry Christmas!….from warm Florida!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    December 21, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    I love Russian Tea! My Mom made the instant kind when I was growing up, I didn’t make it from scratch until I was an adult. Even though I prefer the taste of the homemade, I never turn down a cup of my Mother’s- so many memories wrapped up in a cup of hot tea…

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    December 21, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Never heard of it, but it sure does sound good.
    Glad to now have the recipe.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    December 21, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I had almost forgotten Russian tea. We used to make the instant version. But that was some few years back. I may have to try it again as I am wanting something for the winter evenings both hot and without caffene (spelled wrong I know and besides don’t know if there is such a thing as decaffienated instant tea).
    I think the brewed version would be good using Bigelow Constant Comment tea.
    Merry Christmas to each and all of the BP&A gang. Peace and good will are still here.

  • Reply
    Jean
    December 21, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    hi tipper,thanks for recipe again,mines mist placed.i so enjoyed yesterdays blog.happy-happy birthday jesus day to all.god bless

  • Reply
    Charline
    December 21, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for recipe! My Mom used to make it- haven’t had it for years.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    December 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Tipper,
    Today, while I had the cable radio turned down, I still heard that Signature Sound of Paul and Pap and the Gang doing Silent Night. Seems our Radio Gal loves them too…Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    December 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Tipper,
    I ain’t never had any Russian Tea, but it sounds good. I may fix a batch soon.
    After I took my shower this morning I looked out my kitchen window and there were 3 deer grazing about 20 feet from the house. They were all does, and one was real little, but I’ve heard all my life that real brown ones were Bucks, ain’t so. They wouldn’t even run with my little dog standing on his hine feet, and barking away. They just stomped their feet, warning him not to come out there. I tried to see what they were eating, not the green, taller grass, but the shorter dead stuff and the little one liked my blackberry briars. It didn’t take too long and they just disappeared. I love watching Wildlife…Ken

  • Reply
    Ed
    December 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I have tried Russian tea and I guess I’ll just stick to my coffee. Thanks anyway! On the other hand I have never had a hand made wheel thrown stoneware mug with a thumb rest. That’s killer!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    December 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Jim, I’ll bet Grandpa never had sinus congestion! I’m going to remember pepper tea next time we get stuffy since my son & I are both pepper lovers.
    My mother-in-law used to make the tea mixture with tang. She lives next door to us and when my son was little I’d take him out for an airing in the stroller (we were still in the country then–now we have a Walmart almost next door and apartment buildings across from our little gravel road) and we’d stop and Grandmama would get out the tea mix. Good memories!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Tipper, I don’t even remember where I got that recipe for Russian Tea. I fell in love with it the first time I tasted it. It’s a treasure for sure.
    I have another old recipe that I haven’t made in quite a while and I think I’ll get it out and dust it off and try it again. It’s for party mix. The Party Mix is of the same vintage as the Russian Tea. I’m thinking we might have it for New Years day this year.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 21, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Tipper–Your blog about Russian tea sparked a wonderful Christmas memory for me. Grandpa Casada absolutely loved what he called “Rooshian tea,” and he would drink it so scorching hot I don’t see how he swallowed it without doing damage.
    Of course he also drank copious quantities of pepper tea, which he made by dried parching hot peppers, crushing them, and then brewing tea from the flakes. In this case, there were two sources of heat–the temperature of the liquid and the incredibly high capsaicin count of the peppers.
    I’m personally not a huge fan of the brew, but in my mind’s eye I can see Grandpa “sassering” some, slurping it up rather noisily, and muttering, “My, that’s fine.”
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 21, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Traditions are important, my family does things one way, my children’s spouses do it another. We now all join together for Christmas finner, all traditions are incorporated. This is now 4 families, we have to rent space for holiday meals.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 21, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Traditions are important, my family does things one way, my children’s spouses do it another. We now all join together for Christmas finner, all traditions are incorporated. This is now 4 families, we have to rent space for holiday meals.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 21, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Traditions are important, my family does things one way, my children’s spouses do it another. We now all join together for Christmas finner, all traditions are incorporated. This is now 4 families, we have to rent space for holiday meals.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 21, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Traditions are important, my family does things one way, my children’s spouses do it another. We now all join together for Christmas finner, all traditions are incorporated. This is now 4 families, we have to rent space for holiday meals.

  • Reply
    William Roy Pipes
    December 21, 2015 at 7:16 am

    We used to have Russian tea occasionally, but it has been years. Might try it over Christmas.
    Merry Christmas Tipper

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    December 21, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Tipper,
    The first time I drank Russian Tea was at my Aunts in Canton. She always made it at Christmas.
    Mom got her recipe and started making it thereafter. I could drink a gallon and that might hold me over until next Christmas….I admit I haven’t made it from scratch in a long time. Sometime in the seventies we started making the instant with tang, instant tea and instant lemonade, sugar and spices. I would make one Jar of the instant and we used it up and then the craving would start for it about Thanksgiving again…ha It’s nice to have around. Just heat a cup of water and stir in a few spoons of the instant…Of course, the from scratch with real oranges is the best.
    Thanks for the recipe, I may give your recipe a try…I think my aunt squeezed her oranges and lemons for the juice. I remember seeing the pot stewing on the stove with that wonderful aroma floating thru the kitchen and dining room.
    PS…She always had a tasty fruit cake and Christmas cookies around as well. Who could ask for a better smelling Christmas at her house, a live balsam fir Christmas tree, Russian Tea, cake, cookies and a glass of peppermint sticks….and a big bowl of mixed nuts on the coffee table in the living room for the Uncles…ha

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