Thanksgiving is over. The trees are shedding the last of their golden leaves, the breeze carries a new chill and neighborhoods are being sprinkled with twinkle lights to officially welcome the Christmas season. As nature prepares for a long winter rest, we stock up on firewood and fluffy socks. We look forward to months of bundling up with a hot mug of something delicious while the outside world is tucked in by a blanket of snow.
When I was asked to bring a drink to Thanksgiving dinner at my sister-in-law’s house, the wheels started turning. I immediately wanted to try a southern favorite, sweet tea – but I wanted to honor the coming months with a little bit of spice and turn it into the “something delicious” I had been dreaming about. The result was a lot like chai, but a little bit smoother and a little bit sweeter.
This is the perfect drink, hot or cold. I’ve had it both ways and I can’t decide which one I love more! With a warm spice blend, a cinnamon stick, a little cream, and enough sugar to make the South proud — this Spiced Sweet Tea will be a wonderful addition to anyone’s winter beverage repertoire.
What’s your favorite cold weather drink?
Spiced Sweet Tea
Makes about 2/3 gallon.
12 cups of water
2 cinnamon sticks
1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice – you can make this yourself! (recipe here!)
1 cup of sugar for very sweet, 1/2-3/4 cup for sweet
8 teabags (I use Earl Grey)
Half & Half (1 tbsp. per cup of tea)
1. In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.
2. Add cinnamon sticks and pumpkin pie spice and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon sticks and steep teabags in the hot water for 7 minutes.
4. Remove the teabags and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Ladle the tea into mugs and add 1 tbsp. half and half per mug. Stir and serve with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
1. Repeat steps 1-4 from the Hot instructions.
2. Let the tea cool to room temperature and then pour it into a large pitcher to store in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Serve black or with 1 tbsp. half and half and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
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