Friday, May 02, 2008

Frugal fruit tea

I try to have company on Fridays so I'm motivated to clean house! Quick, before my guests arrive, let me share a recipe for fruit tea.

Did you know not all Southerners like iced tea? It's true. I'm one of them. But I do enjoy this sweetened fruit version when company comes.
  • 7 tea bags, brewed strong
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can orange juice concentrate
  • 2 cans lemonade concentrate
  • Dilute to 1 gallon and serve cold.

This is an adaptable recipe. I often substitute 2 10-cent envelopes of unsweetened Koolaid powder for the lemonade without adding additional sugar.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

That reminds me of the tea they serve in The Wild Plum Tea Room in/outside of Gatlinburg, Tn. So super yummy!! I will have to make it for Mother's
Day.
It looks all the prettier in your pitcher-I am sure your guests will feel so special.
Elise

Julie Q. said...

You had me at the photo. I love that tea tray. You could serve WATER on that thing and still make a great impression.

Nancy said...

That sounds so good and refreshing. I'll have to give it a try and it's very pretty in your pitcher. Enjoy your company and the weekend.

Kelly said...

I have put lemonade in tea but not OJ will have to try! Thanks for the recipe!

Michelle Smiles said...

Sounds yummy! My favorite add in (when I'm not watching my sugar intake) is a can of peach nectar from the hispanic section of the grocery store. It makes the yummiest peach tea!

TJ said...

I'm far from a Southerner, but I love sweet tea and no one makes it here in Washington. Like Kelly, I've added lemonade before, but not OJ too. I think it looks great and I'm sure your guests will love it!

Good idea, company on Friday = clean house before the weekend. I may have to try that!

Meredith said...

It really tastes more like half tea, half juice.

Dedicated tea drinkers will not like it, but I think there's a reason it's served in lunch places across the South.

Michelle, you can use orange and lemon Koolaid for the concentrate and then sweeten to taste with Splenda or stevia, to make this sugar-free.

Meredith said...

Also, I swapped the photo because the sun came out this afternoon.

The tray was my grandmother's. I had to buy it from my aunt's yard sale.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Southerner who hates tea, but I might be willing to give this a try!

Anonymous said...

Do you offer an alternative to those who don't like "sweet tea" (I happen to be one of those Southerners who can't stand sugar in tea)? Do you have a luncheon every Friday? That seems like it would blow a food budget of only $50/week. I am definitely not as creative as you. I would spend half that amount on one luncheon, I think.

LynnMarie said...

I also love this tea hot. Up here in the North it's known as "Friendship Tea". Just wonderful.

Tracey said...

I totally agree with your method of having guests over to motivate cleaning. Anytime I don't feel like practicing hospitality I just remind myself of the benefits of a clean house and good friends. If you invite them they will come and if they come, you will clean (or at least pick up!)

Happy Friday Meredith!

Meredith said...

I only *wish* I had a luncheon every Friday!

Today I had two internet friends I've never met in person stop by for a meeting. (No food!)

And my sister stopped by yesterday, so I had the tea on hand for her.

I always offer water in another pitcher. Just wanted to share the iced fruit tea since it's that time of year.

It is good hot--but even better when heated with a little muslin bag of spices like cloves and cinnamon.

Many recipes also call for the addition of pineapple juice.

Me said...

I like plain old straight up black iced-tea. However, I love making nice beverages for company and this sounds good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Honest to Ya~Ya said...

My, that sounds nice...I'll take a glass ☺

Darla said...

How fun to have a day picked out to have company! When is my Friday turn? ;=)

spinninglovelydays said...

Sounds yummy.:)
Filipinos love iced tea. However, their concept of it is always sweetened and lemon-flavored (in short, the cold Nestea variety). You can always count on their dismay when they order it abroad only to realize that it is, in fact, just cold tea.:)

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I am not a big fan of regular iced tea, either, but I LOVE fruit tea, especially in the summer. I will have to try this recipe!

Angela said...

I don't stop to comment much but must say that rose tray is so beautifully feminine. What a nice touch!

thehomespunheart said...

Mmmm, that sounds delicious! I am another southerner who doesn't love iced tea, my husband on the other hand has it running through his veins...

KayleighJeanne said...

When I was living in Memphis, one of my friends had a saying. "If you don't like tea, you just haven't put enough sugar in it yet."

We used to mix tea and different juices for ourselves too, my favorite was cranberry and sweet tea with a touch of lemon. Other people who "didn't like tea" would make a "Long Island" or a "Texas" tea. Not suitable for afternoon company though!

Becky said...

Mmmm...looks very refreshing. We experiment around with tea flavors all summer long. I've added a tablespoon of vanilla to a gallon of lightly sweetened tea with good results.

Bobbie said...

I, a southerner, do not like tea, either. Its so rare to meet another southern woman who does not like tea, either.

Anonymous said...

Southern tea + company = food of some kind being offered! Surely there was a tray of cookies or slice of cake lurking somewhere!

Meredith said...

I'm embarassed to say that I was completely out of anything--including butter to make a plate of cookies!

My guests were coming straight from a restaurant lunch, though, so I didn't think anything other than a beverage was required.

SK and Family said...

Fridays are your "At Home" days! Okay, or they would have been in the 1800's, LOL. I like the pic--it looks very welcoming!
:)Kat

Sarah said...

I found a recipe very similar to this in a Taste of Home magazine a few years ago, and we LOVE it! Know what else goes well with it? If you have some strawberries in your freezer you can throw some in along with the ice cubes. Mmm!

Barb in Texas said...

Ooooh, I LOVE the old-fashioned ways of "At Home" days. Both of my grandmas, Nettie and Ruth, taught me these ways. They were both grand southern ladies of the old school, and I miss them a lot.

I envy you that you are able to practice the old ways, and I look forward to the day that I'll be able to do the same.

Keep up your good work, and keep the faith! You inspire us all!

mamacita said...

My verrrry favorite drink is half tea and half lemonade, aka the Arnold Palmer (named after the famously temperate golfer). Has to be real lemonade, though -- the pre-made kind just won't cut it.

melody said...

usually anonymous, but while others have focused on the tea, I was surprised that you had to actually purchase your grandmother's beautiful tray from your Aunt! Hopefully she gave you the "direct descendant" pricing...!

gracemercyandpeace said...

This sounds a lot like a tea my mom used to make for gifts in the 1970s; except hers used Tang : ) Anyone remember Tang?

deb meyers

gracemercyandpeace said...

Meredith, could you please explain "7 tea bags brewed strong"? How much water? or ... ???

deb meyers

st8homom said...

I was going to ask the same question as gracemercyandpeace. How much brewed tea do you start with? Also, do you use the smaller cans of concentrate or the "normal" larger size to which you add 3 cans of water?

Thanks. It looks lovely.

Jennifer F. said...

OK, this question is going to reveal just what a socially awkward, introverted person I am, but...

I would actually be really interested to hear about who you invite over, and how you do the inviting.

My husband and I are pretty social but, probably because I'm so introverted by nature, I think of doing social things as a big deal. We usually invite people over for dinners, which is a lot of work and not something I'm up to doing every weekend, or we go out to dinners when my mom can watch the kids. Honestly, it's never occurred to me to ask guests to just drop by for casual visits on a Friday. What an amazing concept! Who do you invite? Friends from church? Neighbors? Husband's coworkers? Do you casually mention it at the last minute or call/email earlier in the week or what?

I know this probably seems like an obvious/dumb question, but to us introverts this sort of thing is like rocket science. :)

Meredith said...

About the recipe--this one comes straight from the 1980's Miss Daisy cookbook.

And until you asked, I honestly didn't know there were two size cans of concentrate! You see, I usually only make half a gallon at a time, and I make mine a little more to taste and try to skimp on ingredients when possible.

(Hence the Koolaid substitution and half a full size can of orange juice that I had on hand.)

So YES, I do think this recipe probably calls for the small cans, because it might taste too fruity if you used it full strength.

About the 7 tea bags, the amount of water almost doesn't matter, because you are diluting the final product up to a gallon (or half gallon) after you mix the fruit and tea. Your tea probably gives you an amount of water suggested per tea bag-- 6 to 8 oz.

I use about a quart of water to 4 tea bags when I make half the recipe.

Caroline said...

During nap time, I dreamed I was extremely thirsty and I drank your tea---it was delicious! I should probably know how to experiment, but can you tell me if the tea can be made with a strawberry or fruit punch flavor?

Gina said...

Fruit tea! YUMMY!!! I like to use pineapple juice in mine, too.

I do the lemonade/tea thing, too. My hubby laughs when we go out to eat, cause I end up with a glass of lemons and a little bit of tea, but it is oh so good!

Mama Said said...

Another cheap alternative for fruit tea is the following recipe:
3 Tbsp Tang
3 Tbsp Diet Lipton Instant Tea with Lemon
1 1/2 cups sugar
Mix together thoroughly with water. Not quite as good as "real" fruit tea but quite tasty and super easy. It's easy to keep the ingredients on hand and you can mix it up in minutes when an unexpected guest comes by. I take it one step cheaper and use off-brand Tang and off-brand regular instant tea with lemon. I just put in another Tbsp or two of the instant tea because it's not as strong as Lipton. I haven't had any complaints about the cheap version and my friends always guzzle it down. LOL!

pianomomsicle said...

i understand about inviting people over. i elected to have Bible study at my house every week instead of switching off between ladies just so i'd have a clean house at least once a week:)

That fruit tea looks really good! i'm having a huge family party on Sunday for Mother's day, and i'm definitely going to make that recipe. Thanks for the idea!