Todd's Russian Tea

Total Time
10 mins
35 mins

This recipe is based on my mother's Russian Tea recipe. I serve this at every Christmas party I host. I don't know why this beverage is called "Russian Tea." However, many people in rural North Carolina make a version of it around the winter holidays.

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  • 1 12 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 12-2 cups white sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 15 teaspoons loose tea (or 3 family-size teabags)
  • 5 quarts fresh preferably bottled water


  1. Place 3 qts of water in a large pot, and add cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Bring water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and place a mesh tea-infusion basket of tea (or 3 teabags) into the pot. Steep tea for only 5 minutes.
  4. After removing the tea-infusion basket or teabags, add sugar to the pot and stir until it dissolves.
  5. Add cans of concentrate, plus 2 qts of water.
  6. Bring the whole mixture up to temperature and serve hot.
  7. This tea refrigerates well for a few days with the cloves and cinnamon sticks removed. Always serve hot, though.