How to Make Your Own Instant Spiced Tea Mix
My first taste of this concoction
A friend of mine gave me a jar of this homemade mix for Christmas one year, complete with a pretty piece of fabric over the lid, and a ribbon tied around it. I thought it was so sweet and thoughtful of her to share a piece of the South with me! I tried a cup of it shortly after, and was impressed by how it tasted.When I asked what was in it, she gave me the recipe, and I was surprised it was so simple. As a lover of many hot beverages (coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and hot apple cider alike), this hit the spot for me. I hope you like it, as well.
Note that even though this is not a healthy drink, it does have quite a bit of Vitamin C in it, due to the Orange and Lemonade. The lower sugar version (the second recipe) has about 225% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C (If it is too much, try diluting it with more iced tea mix, or use less than the recommended 1 Tablespoon of mix).
Where can these ingredients be found?
Most grocery stores, and some convenience stores, have the drink mixes in their powdered beverage section, which is usually near the water and sports drinks.
The spices in this recipe are very common, found in grocery stores, many convenience stores, and even many of the dollar stores that sell food. They can be found in the spice section, usually in the baking aisle.
- You can replace the lemonade with 1 package of lemon flavored Kool-Aid, and increase the sugar to 1 cup, if you prefer
- Nutmeg can be used instead of, or even in addition to, the ground cloves
- I think it is fun to experiment with spices, so if there is another one that you think would complement the flavors, experiment. You may be surprised by how one ingredient can alter the taste
- There are many sugar-free versions out there, in case you don't want to consume too much (or any) sugar. See also "My Observations".
Spiced Tea Mix, Recipe #1
- This version has more sugar in it than the second recipe. It is the kind that I tried several years ago, and it is delicious, but not good for diabetics or those on a low-sugar diet
Yield: 3 cups, which makes 24-48 servings
- 2 cups orange beverage powder (such as Tang)
- 1 cup unsweetened (powdered) instant tea
- 1/3 cup sweetened lemonade mix
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- Mix all ingredients completely. Keep in mind that if you bought any sugar-free varieties with Splenda or aspartame in it, you may not need to add any sugar. At this point, you may want to test out a little bit of it, and adjust the amounts to your taste.
- Store in mason jar or airtight container
- For one serving, pour 1 cup of boiling water into a mug (or heat up water in a microwave for about 1 minute), and stir in 1-2 Tablespoons (depending on how tangy you prefer it) of the mix until it is dissolved
Purchasing the Main Ingredients
Tang, instant tea, and lemonade can also be found online, many times in large quantities.
Lower Sugar Spiced Tea MixClick thumbnail to view full-size
There are many options in the store, as far as the powdered drinks. Tang is a fantastic orange beverage, but if you are diabetic, or on a low-sugar diet, you may want to find an orange-flavored beverage (as well as lemonade) that is sugar-free. Many sugar-free varieties have either Splenda (containing dextrose, maltodextrine, and sucralose) or aspartame in it. Read the ingredient label if you have any sensitivities to, or misgivings of, any of those ingredients.
I also noticed another shortcut, and took advantage of it: Half and Half is a term used for half iced tea and half lemonade. It is not exactly the same formula as the recipe above (a little more lemonade, a little less iced tea), but I am going to try it out. I bought the half and half, sugar free (with Splenda), as well as Tang.
Spiced Tea, Lower Sugar Version
- Note that this is lower sugar, not low sugar. I used the Tang, which initially has 22 grams of sugar per serving (the equivalent of about 5 1/2 teaspoons of sugar). But I also used 4C Totally Light Half and Half Iced Tea & Lemonade, which has 0 sugar, and uses Splenda. It balances the recipe out, bringing the sugar down to only 11 grams of sugar (less than 3 teaspoons) per serving.
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups, which makes 32 servings at 1 Tablespoon each
- Here we go with this version that I personally mixed myself today:
- 4C Totally Light Half and Half Iced Tea & Lemonade, all 7 tubs from the 1.975 0z (56 grams) container [you could get away with using less]
- 2 cups of Tang orange drink mix
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- Mix all ingredients completely
- Test your mix out, to make sure it suits your taste
- Store in a mason jar or airtight container in a cool, dry place, such as a cupboard
- If you are giving as a gift, you may want to affix a pretty label or tag onto the jar, with the instructions listed below:
~ For one serving, pour one cup of hot water into a mug (or microwave water for about 1 minute), and stir in 1 Tablespoon of the mix (or a little less) until it's dissolved. If desired, add more, but even 1 Tablespoon is quite sweet and tangy.
Lower Sugar version of Spiced Tea
|Serving size: 1 Tablespoon|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 11 g||4%|
|Sugar 11 g|
|Fiber 0 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 18 mg||1%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
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