A Cup of Christmas Tea

This is an article I originally posted in 2012 but the recipe is still delish & the book is fantastic. . . . . . . . . . . 

For as long as I can remember, every year we had Christmas Tea. I’m not sure where my mom found the recipe originally but it was a popular addition to “community” and “church” cookbooks in the 80s. Two other names given this tea is Spice Tea or more often … Russian Tea – for reasons I do not know. But I do know It is warm and citrusy and so so so very good!

From Southern Living…

One of the earliest references for “Russian Tea” was in The New York Times in December 1882 in “an article containing advice from a doctor on how to stay hydrated while riding a tricycle recreationally.” The original recipes referred to a simple iced tea served with lemon and sometimes sugar. A 1907 edition of the San Antonio Gazette included a recipe that featured the now trademark combination of lemon, orange, sugar, and tea. Since no one can compete with a classic glass of sweet tea, though, in the South, Russian Tea became synonymous with a hot drink flavored with oranges or lemons and spiced with vanilla, rum, cinnamon, and sometimes preserved cherries.



Making Christmas Tea is a tradition our family continues. Each year we make tons of tea to share. Last night was my 2nd round of tea making.

All packed up and ready to go…

Christmas Tea


In the 80s Tom Hegg, an American author, teacher, and theatrical professional wrote a book called, A Cup of Christmas Tea.

This book tells the story of a young man’s “obligation” turned into a great blessing. It is a favorite tradition of our family to slow down for an evening, read the book, and enjoy a cup of tea together.

It is a short and sweet book and if you’d like to hear it beautifully read to you, check out the video below…


2 cups Tang or orange instant drink mix
1 1/2 cups sugar (white)
1/2 cup instant tea powder
1 cup instant lemonade mix
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well and store in an airtight container.

Use 1 -3 T of mix in a mug. Stir in boiling water. Adjust to taste.

Christmas is just around the corner. Enjoy all the season has to offer. Sit down, relax and enjoy a cup of Christmas tea. And, do what we do each year, read A Cup of Christmas Tea.



6 thoughts on “A Cup of Christmas Tea

  1. I make this every year starting at Thanksgiving…
    I always wondered where i saw the recipe, now i remember 🙂
    Thank You for sharing

    Take Care…You Matter…

    1. I just listened with my mom the Christmas Tea 🙂
      She LOVED it and said to tell you Thank you for sharing it, she had never heard it, as i had not either.
      I now need the book, it was so wonderful, i dream of writing like that.
      and Thank You gain for the article, she enjoyed knowing where the “family” recipe came from

      Wishing You a Mery Christmas with all the wishes coming true


  2. I like this tea and loved the book. Thanks for sharing your memories, the recipe and the read aloud link.

  3. This sounds wonderful! Is there a certain instant tea powder and lemonade mix you use? Thank you for sharing it!

  4. I use to make a lot of Russian Tea, and it was so good. But I haven’t made it in years (those bygone years). I love spices, and I have the Spice Islands Mulling Spice Kit that I use in apple juice and bring it to a boil. It is wonderful! Oh, when I was grocery shopping today, I bought a Duncan Hines Orange Cake Mix that looked really good. Thought I may make it for Christmas as I love orange marmalade. I think this is a new cake mix. Have a blessed Christmas.

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