Spiced with cloves and cinnamon and rounded out with a combination of fruit juices, this recipe for Homemade Christmas Tea is a festive warming beverage that is perfect for the holidays.
My family has many holiday traditions that center around cherished Christmas recipes. From baking Cut Out Sugar Cookies and Candy Cane Cookies together to enjoying Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole and Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas morning, to enjoying a New York Strip Roast for Christmas dinner. Another favorite tradition that dates back to my childhood is Homemade Spiced Tea.
Ever since I can remember, my mom kicked off the holidays by making a huge batch of what she referred to as Christmas Tea and we have enjoyed it year after year after year.
It is an aromatic tea that is sweetened, spiced, and finished with fruit juices, creating a festive holiday beverage that can be enjoyed warm or cold and pairs beautifully with Christmas Cookies or Christmas Brunch.
It is sweet, fruity, and spiced perfectly. It is the most flavorful version of tea you will ever enjoy. In fact, I don't care for store-bought spiced tea, but I love Homemade Christmas tea.
Notes on Ingredients
This Holiday Spiced Tea is made with black tea that is sweetened and flavored with pineapple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, fresh lemon, cloves, and cinnamon.
- Black Tea: I recommend preparing spiced tea using decaffeinated black tea. That way you can enjoy the tea at any point of the day without worrying about the caffeine keeping you up. Plus, by using decaffeinated tea, you ensure that children can enjoy Christmas Tea as well.
- Juice: For this recipe, you will need pineapple juice, orange juice, and cranberry juice. I recommend using 100% fruit juice rather than using fruit juice cocktail to control the amount of added sugar in the tea.
- Lemon Juice: It is best to use the juice of fresh lemons, rather than refrigerated lemon juice, which can be a bit bitter.
- Spices: To add the perfect amount of warmth and spice to your tea, use both whole cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. They will gently steep into the tea, adding subtle flavor.
- Sugar: My mom's recipe for Christmas Tea calls for adding granulated sugar to help sweeten the tea. You can increase, decrease, or omit the sugar as desired. I personally cut the sugar in half, as I my tea to be just kissed with sweetness.
How to Make Christmas Tea
It is important to note it is best to make this Holiday Spiced Tea at least 24 hours in advance, to allow the flavors to truly marry together.
- In a large pan, combine 8 cups of water with the sugar, cloves, and cinnamon stick.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep in the hot water for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, strain out the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and tea bags from the mixture.
- Stir in an additional 8 cups of cold water, along with the orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and fresh lemon juice.
- Allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
Christmas Tea is best stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator and will keep for up to 10 days. I find it is best to transfer the prepared, cooled tea to pitchers or empty water jugs.
Christmas Tea can be served chilled or warmed. To warm the chilled tea, you can opt to heat individual servings in a heat-safe mug in the microwave, or simmer a large batch on the stove until warmed through. If I am entertaining, I will pour the chilled Christmas Tea into a slow cooker and heat it on low for 2-3 hours. Once the tea is warm, turn the slow cooker to the warm setting and hold it on warm for serving.
Serve this Holiday Spiced Tea any time of the day with or without food. It pairs beautifully with homemade shortbread, cranberry orange muffins, or sour cream coffee cake.
More Christmas Recipes
If you gave this recipe for Christmas Tea a try, I would love for you to leave a comment or review below.
- 16 cups water divided
- ½ to 1 cup granulated sugar see note
- 5 black tea bags
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- ¾ cup pulp-free orange juice
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- In a large pan, combine 8 cups of water with the sugar, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sugar is fully dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep in the hot water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, strain off the cloves, cinnamon, and tea bags.
- Stir in an additional 8 cups of cold water, orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and fresh lemon juice.
- Let the tea chill to room temperature then transfer it to pitchers or empty water jugs. Chill for at least 24 hours before serving.
- Serve the Christmas Tea chilled or warm. To warm a large batch of Christmas tea, pour the chilled tea into a slow cooker and heat on low for 2-3 hours. Once the tea is warm, turn the slow cooker to warm and keep it on warm for serving. Alternatively, warm by individual serving in the microwave.
This recipe is amazing! I tried it and it turned out so good. Thanks, Kristen
Thanks, Jo! It is a family staple here and I love hearing that others are enjoying this recipe for Christmas Tea.
Perfect combination of flavors, so delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.
As a huge tea lover, I am so happy I found this!! I need to make for my friends but right now I don't want to share with anyone 🙂
I understand! So happy to hear you enjoyed this spiced tea 🙂