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Comforting, warm, Russian Tea made in the slow cooker. This from scratch drink recipe is perfect for an evening drink after it simmers all day in the slow cooker.
Cool nights are coming and it’s getting dark earlier than ever! It’s evenings like this where I love to sip a warm drink before bedtime. Sometimes it is tea…other times it is coffee.
But when we’re feeling fancy, I make up this Russian Tea recipe (originally found in many of my old church cookbooks) and let it simmer all day. Not only will you love the taste of this comforting drink, but the house will smell amazing from all the spices, too.
Many Russian Tea recipes are made with Tang orange drink mix and lemonade mix which allows the recipe to be a dry mix “Instant” tea. Although we love that Instant tea for gift giving and busy mornings when we are short on time, this is a “from scratch” recipe that uses juice and strongly steeped tea.
The flavors simmer in the slow cooker (or Dutch oven) for as long as you’d like. You’ll need to plan ahead just a few hours for this, but it is so worth it.
Our Russian Tea mix is made from strongly steeped tea (think 5 tea bags to 2 cups of hot water!), sugar, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. No powder mixes.
We use cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to add flavor like no other. It’s easy to keep these ingredients on hand so you’re ready to serve up warm tea any day you’d like.
We normally make our Russian Tea with black tea which does contain caffeine. If you’d like you can use caffeine free tea bags for a treat that won’t keep you up all night.
We like to use our slow cooker to make Russian tea. You can also make it in a dutch oven on the stovetop.
That’s it! It will take a few hours to heat through depending on which method you use, but as soon as the beverage is heated through it’s ready to drink.
If you are having a dinner party that is more buffet style, it may be best to leave the tea in the slow cooker and allow people to serve themselves. If you choose this you can add cinnamon sticks and orange slices to the top of the tea for a pretty look.
If you are serving individual glasses of tea, slice oranges and cut them in quarters. Spear a whole clove into the orange slice and serve on top of each individual glass as shown below. It looks so pretty and adds just a hint more flavor.
I remember my mother making this every year around Christmas when I was a young girl. I loved the way it smelled as it was cooking on the stove. Several years ago she gave me a recipe but she was trusting her not-so-good memory. She passed away on Easter Sunday 2019 but think of her every time I make it. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I think it comes closer to hers than any of the recipes I’ve tried!❤️❤️❤️
It is like my mother’s recipe when I was in college on cold Michigan winter nights. Then when I was in the Air Force (1972-1974) a civilian nurse made the instant mix to keep us awake on the night shift. Thanks for putting it out there now. I was an officer and a R.N.
Thank you so much for this. I had this recipe years ago and lost it. Until this one, all I could find was recipes made with powders, but they can’t compare to this. Looking forward to making it again for Christmas!
I tried this recipe tonight. It was very delicious! Thank you for sharing it.
Can this tea be frozen and defrosted as needed?
I made this for our annual Christmas Eve party. It was fantastic! Several requested the recipe! I will be making it again for sure!
Tried your recipe after not finding my Uncle Don’s who passed some years ago. It was so very close to his and I am about to make another batch for my school’s luncheon Friday. When you say 5 tea bags, I’m assuming you are referring to family size bags?