This recipe is really exciting to me.
My main inspiration for this recipe is Thieves Blend essential oil. It combines clove oil, lemon oil, cinnamon bark oil, rosemary oil, and eucalyptus oil to create an immunity boosting blend like no other. Word on the street is, this blend is based on a story dating back to the Middle Ages. During the plague, a group of spice traders-turned-thieves went around robbing the sick (or dead), But they somehow managed to avoid contracting the disease themselves. When asked what their secret was, they shared that they combined these herbs and spices with oils and vinegars, and rubbed the concoction all over their bodies before robbing their gravely ill victims. (I’m guessing that everyone thought they were witches, since that was the “go-to” scapegoat reason at the time. They were probably still burned at the stake…just in case.) Isn’t history fun?!
We go through A LOT of these oils during fall and winter months, when cold and flu season are in full swing.
The other reason this recipe is so exciting to me? It is a new spin on my family’s festive seasonal drink, known as “Holiday Tea”. The original recipe uses fruit juice concentrates and is much sweeter than this tea, but the flavors are nearly identical (although this tea is significantly spicier). It’s my all time favorite holiday scent, and while it’s simmering, the house fills with an aroma that instantly takes me back to Christmastime in NY. Holiday Tea is only made AFTER Thanksgiving, and lasts through January. I’m planning on making this tea all year long (although, probably not in summer).
Pair this tea with homemade soups, and you’ll be well on your way to a super healthy fall (and winter).
What You’ll Need:
-4 quarts water (1 gallon)
-16 tea bags (I used black tea, but a combo of black and green would be nice too.)
-4-6 lemons; sliced into rounds
-3-4 oranges; sliced into rounds
-1 whole pineapple; ends removed, “peeled”, and cut into large chunks. (I added the core too)
-10 cinnamon sticks
-1/4 cup whole cloves
-several sprigs of fresh rosemary
-2 cups honey
In a large stock pot, bring water to a low boil. Add in tea bags and simmer. Remove tea bags after 10 minutes (less if you want a weaker “tea”. Leave them in longer if you want a really strong tea. Too long can result in a bitter tea concentrate). **Want a caffeine free version, try using rooibos tea instead of the black tea. I like the kick the caffeine gives me (since I’m not a coffee drinker)**
Add the rest of your ingredients (except the honey), and cook on low for several hours.
Enjoy the amazing aroma.
Add the honey at the end of your cooking process. This drink is supposed to be SPICY, so depending on your palate, you might need it a bit sweeter. I left mine on the not so sweet side and just add a teaspoon of honey when I heat up a cup.
Once cool, remove fruit pieces and cinnamon sticks. Scoop out rosemary and cloves. I leave my tea on the pulpy side, but if pulp isn’t your “cup of tea” (haha, see what I did there), then strain the tea through cheesecloth while pouring into your storage container.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (any gallon size jar or jug should do). It should keep for several months, but I doubt it’ll last longer than a week.
**For those of you familiar with Thieves Blend essential oil, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that this tea has the same flavors. It is spicy and slightly numbing (thanks to the cloves).**