I was looking for a way to stretch out some cranberry juice and make it go further, but still keep that crisp, refreshing flavour – and I hit upon the idea of adding some cold tea. We don’t drink that much iced tea in the UK, but on the rare occasions that it’s sunny it’s a great way to give yourself a little pick-me-up.
The finished drink reminds me a bit of a non-alcoholic Sea Breeze cocktail, but with a slightly more complex flavour. Plus it’s a lot less dehydrating on a hot day.
Ingredients (makes 1 litre)
- 2 tea bags (Earl Grey is the nicest for this)
- 500ml boiling water
- 500ml cranberry juice
- 1 lime, quartered
- 4 sprigs of mint (optional)
- Make the tea in the usual way, with 500ml water, and don’t brew for longer than the recommended time otherwise it will be too bitter. Remove teabags and set aside to cool.
- When you’re ready to drink, take a large glass and squeeze in a lime quarter, dropping the lime in after the juice.
- Add a sprig of mint, if using, then pile on ice cubes until the glass is about 2/3 filled with ice.
- Pour over 125ml of cold tea and top with 125ml of cranberry juice, and give it a quick stir before serving.
The brewed tea will keep quite happily for a couple of days in the fridge in a covered jug, ready for you to mix up another glass of cranberry iced tea whenever you like. This is very handy for when a longer spell of good weather’s been forecast.
I used supermarket own-brand Earl Grey tea bags for this, and some no added sugar Ocean Spray cranberry juice drink. You could bring the cost down a bit more by using a supermarket own brand cranberry juice.
The drink is also nice with any other citrus slices in it. If you like your drinks sweeter, use 1/8 of an orange per glass, otherwise you can use a small chunk of lemon or grapefruit.
I used mint in this drink because I grow it on my windowsill for a few pence. If I didn’t grow my own, I would omit it from the drink rather than pay silly prices for it at the supermarket.