Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Into Flavor: Friendship Tea

The original recipe for this came to me from my friend Meg when we both lived in North Carolina.

She would make it and bring it to county soccer league games in a large thermos and pass it out to those of us shivering in the stands during the never-ending soccer season of 1995.

It rained so much that the season went all the way to the weekend before Thanksgiving.

The tea has morphed into the recipe below, because I kept adding things and shifting ingredients; then I lost the original recipe somewhere among our many Air Force moves.

Friendship Tea
4 cups boiling water
2 family-sized tea bags (I favor Luzianne brand)
1 bottle cranberry juice
2 cups sugar (or to taste, I start with a 1/2 cup and add as I think it's needed)
1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves

Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for about 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and place the tea in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add cranberry juice, sugar, pineapple, and lemonade concentrates ; bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn heat to a simmer and let simmer about 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon and cloves. Taste the tea. If it seems too strong, add water, one cup at a time until it suits you. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Note: I tie my spices in a square of cheesecloth for easy removal. You can vary the spices and their amounts according to your taste, just use whole spices. Caution, adding to many cloves overpowers the other flavors.

You can prepare the steeped tea and then add it and the other items to a crockpot. Cook on high for an hour, then remove the spices and turn to low. You can easily serve the Friendship Tea at parties and gatherings this way.


Robin Lambright said...

This sounds so warm and toasy on a chilly fall evening. I am adding i to my colection.

Denise said...

Wow, this sounds very good.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Oh man, who wouldn't I be friends with if they offered me this tea?? :) Thanks for sharing. I'd like to try this. It's really cold here now, so I'll give it a go soon. Thanks for contributing!

Homesteader in Training said...

That tea looks delicious. I'm going to have to try it.
Blessings to you.