When I lived in Amish Country for two years during graduate school, I had a dear friend who introduced me to this hot homemade cranberry tea recipe during a holiday get together. She served it in these dainty white and floral tea cups. It smelled like Christmas and tasted like a cranberry version of mulled cider with a pretty red hue. Talk about cheer in a cup! My favorite part of this tea aside from the taste and smell is that it is made as a concentrate. One batch takes only 20 minutes to cook up, but provides a full quart of concentrate. When ready to serve, that one quart of concentrate fills 20 cups of tea! This tea also makes a great gift for friends and family this holiday season.
The star ingredient for this tea is obviously that healthy red cranberry fruit. And now, with Thanksgiving’s cranberry sauce a memory, it’s the perfect time to stock up on them. Some grocers are selling 12 oz. bags of fresh cranberries for under a buck! You can buy a bundle and freeze them right in the bag until ready for use. Who says cranberry tea has to be enjoyed only around Christmas? The vitamin C in this tea alone can help keep colds at bay all year long.
Are you ready to make this homemade cranberry tea recipe with me?
Here is what you’ll need…two 12 oz. bags of raw cranberries. You can find them in the produce or holiday aisles. They do not need to be refrigerated, but if you don’t plan to use them within the next week, I recommend freezing the whole bag. You will also need whole cloves, whole cinnamon sticks, 1 lemon and a 12 oz. can of frozen 100% apple juice concentrate. The tools to making a fruit tea are simple! One stockpot, a measuring cup for water and a good mesh strainer (not pictured).
First things first! Rinse your cranberries with cold water and place them in a large stockpot. Pour four cups of water over them . Stir in 2 whole cinnamon sticks and 6 whole cloves and turn on the heat. Cook the cranberries for 15 minutes on medium high heat until they are all popped and gushy. The smell in your kitchen will tell all!
While still hot, strain the cooked cranberry mixture into a large bowl using a spoon or potato masher to separate the liquid. No need to be perfect here. We’ll strain our mixture one more time at the end.
Next, add the juice of one lemon and one 12 oz. canister of 100% apple juice concentrate to your bowl. It helps if the apple juice is defrosted, but if not, the heat of the cranberry juice will melt it quickly. The apple juice provides a little sweet to our tea. If your guests prefer the tea to be even sweeter, they can always add a teaspoon or two of honey to the prepared hot tea.
In the final step, strain your cranberry, lemon and apple concentrate one last time into a quart size container. The strainer will catch any last bit of pulp from the lemon or apple juice so our tea is crystal pure.
When ready to serve, pour 4 cups boiling water over 1 cup concentrate. The flavors of the spices, tart cranberry and sweet apple provide the perfect combination. You can refrigerate the concentrate for the holidays or freeze it in glass jars or bagged cubes to enjoy all year long. We love it!
This Christmas, when you surround yourself with dear friends, serve up this hot cranberry tea in your own dainty floral cups. Nothing is better than the smells, flavors and fellowship of the season….and this hot cranberry tea will fit right in!
Cranberry tea made completely at home – yum!
- 2 – 12 oz. bags of raw cranberries
- 4 cups water
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 lemon
- 1 – 12 oz. canister of frozen 100% apple juice concentrate.
- Rinse your cranberries with cold water and place them in a large stockpot.
- Pour four cups of water over them.
- Stir in 2 whole cinnamon sticks and 6 whole cloves and turn on the heat.
- Cook the cranberries for 15 minutes on medium high heat until they are popped and gushy.
- While still hot, strain the cooked cranberry mixture into a large bowl.
- Add the juice of one lemon and one 12 oz. canister of 100% apple juice concentrate to the bowl.
- Strain your cranberry, lemon and apple concentrate one last time into a glass quart size container.
- When ready to serve, pour 4 cups boiling water over 1 cup cranberry mixture concentrate.