Nothing is as delicious as a homemade fruit tea made with fresh fruits. This spiced cranberry tea recipe is super easy to make and if fresh cranberries are out of season, you can use frozen ones too. Ready in just a bit over 30 minutes and absolutely divine for cool winter days.
What are cranberries?
Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) are small red berries with a very tart flavour. Dry cranberries are readily available in supermarkets around the world, while the fresh ones are usually available only in late autumn. Fresh cranberries will last in the fridge for a month or so, making them a perfect ingredient for early winter drinks. Cranberry juices and cranberry sauces are widely available too, but if you have a chance to enjoy them fresh, you definitely won't regret it.
Cranberries are a common ingredient in tea blends too, especially those with a zesty and tart flavour. They go well with green and black tea, and other zesty and fruity ingredients.
Additional ingredients you can try adding to homemade cranberry tea:
- Fresh apples
Cranberries make for a delicious homemade drink, and they may provide additional benefits too. In fact, because of their numerous potential benefits, they are considered superfood. Studies showed cranberries may help with urinary tract infections and that's probably one of their most important benefits. But, it's not the only one. They may also help protect against heart diseases (1) by lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation and may help boost the immune system (2). With the amazing flavour and significant benefits, cranberry tea will easily become your favourite drink.
How to make cranberry tea from fresh cranberries?
There is a thin line between a tea and a juice, especially when you are using fresh ingredients. Juices are usually simply juiced from fresh fruits. Then, water may or may not be added to dilute them, depending on your preferences. Unlike with tea, there's no boiling or steeping. On the other hand, tea or an herbal infusion always includes steeping either real tea leaves (tea) or other fresh or dried ingredients (infusion) in water. However, some fruit such as cranberries are better simmered than steeped.
You can make cranberry tea from both fresh and dried cranberries, but with different results. Simply steeping them won't be enough. Dried cranberries are usually sweetened and will release much less flavour than fresh fruits. Thankfully, making cranberry tea from fresh cranberries is super simple, as you will only need to wash and simmer them.
Spiced cranberry tea recipe ingredients
Fresh cranberries – cranberries are usually available in late autumn, but they can keep in the fridge for a month or even longer. However, you can make a delicious cranberry tea using frozen cranberries too. Once they are in season, wash and freeze them (whole) and thaw before using.
Spices – use whole, crushed spices rather than spice powders. They will give a more complex flavour and a clear liquor. Although spices do not really expire, they will lose their flavour over time, so always check before using them in recipes.
Sugar – any type of sugar will go well with this recipe. For a more neutral flavour, choose white granulated sugar or brown sugar for a nuttier warmer notes. Honey will work well too. If you want to avoid sugars, try it with sugar alternatives.
Spiced Cranberry Tea
- Kitchen strainer
- Pestle and mortar
- 50 grams fresh cranberries whole and unpeeled, washed
- 400 ml water
- 1/3 small cinnamon stick
- 1 whole star anis
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- Gently crush the spices using pestle and mortar.
- Add spices and water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Add cranberries and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
- Strain into a cup, add sweetener and enjoy.