There is something about a fun and fancy drink that makes every day and every task more fun – not just parties! I love this drink because it’s easy to mix up, is good for me, and makes every Christmas task that much more merry. Earlier this year my cousin David, who is an honest-to-goodness, real-live gourmet chef, shared his delicious spiced green tea recipe with me. I instantly loved the taste and natural zing of his blend. As the holidays have drawn closer I thought it would be fun to embellish his recipe with a Christmas twist. So today, I humbly present my Cranberry Green Tea Spritzer recipe. My version is a mocktail, but you could replace the sparkling red grape juice with a sparkling red wine to dress this up to serve at a Holiday Open House or other party this season.Let’s begin with the green tea recipe. I like to brew this and keep it on hand in a mason jar in the fridge. It keeps for several days (although it doesn’t tend to linger that long because I drink it pretty quickly), and is actually a nice wake-me-up drink. Green tea is the main ingredient, I happen to love the Kirkland brand from Costco because it is a blend of Sencha & Matcha teas.
David’s recipe calls for you to drop in fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick while the tea bags are steeping. The more ginger you use, the more potent the brew will be. I like to throw in a few sprigs of rosemary and some orange slices (I used a couple from yesterday’s How to Dry Oranges post because they were handy).
After about ten or fifteen minutes of steeping you can also drop in a few mint leaves. Allow to sit for another five minutes or so and then strain the tea into a glass mason jar for storage. It’s delicious served warm or cold, but I do recommend allowing it to cool before combining this into the Spritzer.
Once your tea is chilled you are ready to concoct! I recently pulled a muscle in my back and my sweet neighbor reminded me that black cherry juice is a natural anti-inflammatory. My grocery store had a buy-one, get-one free sale on a black cherry/cranberry juice blend and I was sold!
I wanted some bubbles, because drinks are always more festive with bubbles, so I also grabbed a bottle of sparkling red grape juice. The juice blended with the sparkling cider created the glorious red color that I think makes this perfect for Christmas!
As a flourish I created this easy-peasy rosemary-cranberry garnish.
To make this all you need is a sprig of rosemary stripped of most of the leaves (except for the top). Next use a toothpick to make a tunnel through the cranberry, this makes it simple to thread it onto the rosemary sprig, and voila! you are done and have an adorable red & green garnish.
- 3 Green tea bags
- one inch (or so) Ginger, sliced
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2 sprigs of Rosemary (take leaves off for brewing, reserve sprig for garnish)
- 2 slices of Oranges
- a few Mint leaves
- Black Cherry/Cranberry juice blend
- Sparkling Red Grape juice
- 2 slices of Lime
- Fresh cranberries
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and turn off heat. Add green tea bags, ginger slices, stick of cinnamon, rosemary leaves, and orange slices to water. Allow to steep for at least 20 minutes (or longer for more intense flavor).
- During last few minutes of steeping add fresh mint leaves.
- Strain tea into a glass mason jar. Allow to cool before continuing.
- Pour 1 part spiced green tea into glass (or pitcher)
- Add 1 part Black Cherry/Cranberry juice blend
- Add 1 part Sparkling Red Grape juice.
- Stir very gently to blend.
- Add a slice of lime, a handful of fresh cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary-cranberry garnish - now just sip & enjoy!
What do you think? Do you feel inspired to sip on the green-side? I hope you’ll give it a try. It is truly so fresh and delicious with a mild, spice undertone from the ginger and cinnamon. Definitely play with the ratios to make it suit your liking. I am happily sipping some right now while Holiday Inn is playing on the tv in the background – ah, the happy Christmas memories are already beginning!