Christmas in a Cup – Old Salem Tea

When I started dating Mike, he introduced me to many wonderful tastes, activities, and places I hadn’t really frequented until that time.  One of my very favorite “things Mike introduced me to” is only permissible around the holidays. Literally, after New Year’s Day, we won’t be making it again until next November, and as wonderful as it is, I think this is probably for the best. I’d hate to lose the thrill of actually getting to have it.

It is Old Salem Tea or, as we occasionally call it, Christmas in a Cup.


Old Salem Tea
Old Salem Tea



Old Salem Tea is a concoction of tea, fruit juices, and spices. It tastes mulled, and honestly, it is, in a way. The ingredients are just simpler, which I am all about. Mike got this recipe from his mom Wanda, and as always, I am very much in her debt for making a special occasion even more special. I love drinking it hot, but it is also tasty cold, served over ice. Old Salem Tea isn’t just delicious. It fills your house with the old fashioned, spiced smell of Christmas as it brews. With all the juices, it’s a good drink when you’re sick, but I hope you won’t have that need for it during the holiday and Christmas seasons.




So here we go…

Here’s what you need:

Black tea of your choice (Mike prefers Luzianne Decaffeinated so he can drink it and fall right to sleep), sugar, water, orange juice, pineapple juice, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves.


Here’s what you do:

Brew your tea.  Use four of the family size tea bags (the giant ones) brewed into two quarts of water (8 cups). Add 1.25 cups of sugar. Let is steep for 10 minutes.

Black tea brewing
Black tea brewing – Yep, I’m using a fist full of small tea bags here because I ran out of the giant ones


Add 1 quart (4 cups) of orange juice and 1 quarter (4 cups) of pineapple juice. Stir it up and turn the burner back on low.  Drop in 2 cinnamon sticks and 7 whole cloves.

Ingredients to add to your tea
Ingredients to add to your tea – Yes, I took the picture after I added as you can see from the level of the OJ


Let the drink heat until it’s hot again. See, super simple.

Old Salem Tea brewing
Old Salem Tea brewing

Now, sit back by the fire and drink in the holidays.  Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Old Salem Tea - Christmas in a Cup
Old Salem Tea – Christmas in a Cup

Old Salem Tea

2 quarts of water 4 family size tea bags
1.25 cups sugar 1 quart orange juice
1 quart pineapple juice 2 cinnamon sticks
7 whole cloves


In a large pot, bring 2 quarter of water to a boil. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Drag 4 family sized tea bags through the water for one minute. Turn the burner off and let it steep for 10 minutes. Add the orange and pineapple juices and stir it up. Turn the burner back on low. Drop in 2 cinnamon sticks and 7 whole cloves. Let the drink heat until it is desired temperature. It is okay to leave it on the stove on warm. Just before to watch it so the sugars don’t scorch.

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