Friendship Tea – An Old Fashioned Russian Tea Recipe

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This Friendship Tea recipe is a homemade tea mix that combines instant tea, lemonade and Tang with some spices for a perfect warm drink. Make up a batch of this Friendship Tea to have on hand when guests drop in or to give as the perfect homemade gift with a plate of cookies.

Friendship Tea Recipe

Have you ever heard of Friendship Tea? How about Russian Tea, or Russian Friendship Tea? It’s a homemade tea mix that you that you blend together, and give as gifts. It’s made with 5 simple ingredients, and the flavor is a delicious spiced orange.

Barbara had a college roommate whose mom would make it for her and send it in a care package. She loved making it because it reminded her of home.  The delicious aroma of a steaming cup of spiced tea gave off notes of citrus, cinnamon and cloves.

Barbara found this tang tea recipe in a 1980 version of our local Shelby County Extension Homemakers Book of Favorite Recipes. She tweaked it just a tad so that it uses an entire container of Tang.  Not familiar with Tang? It’s a pre-made fruit-flavored fruit drink powder.

How to Make Old Fashioned Russian Tea Recipe:

Full recipe for Russian Friendship Tea from scratch is at the bottom of this post.

Use a plastic resealable bag for the easiest method of blending the powder into a uniform mixture.  Mix instant unsweetened tea, instant sweetened lemonade, Tang, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves until completely blended.  Pour into glass jars, and seal tight. This recipe makes 3 pint-sized jars of Russian Friendship Tea.

To serve, add 2 to 3 teaspoons to one cup boiling water.  Don’t fill your mug to the top with water. The spiced tea mix will fizz as it hits the boiling water.

This makes the perfect gift for friends, teachers and loved ones for the holidays or teacher appreciation week. Looking for more gift ideas?  Try our Best Homemade Gift Ideas.

You can decorate the jars if desired. Barbara likes to put a little piece of fabric underneath the lids before tightening the seal.  On top, be sure to label with the name and the instructions.

Notes About Spiced Tea Mix:

  • Russian Friendship Tea is an easy, homemade tea mix that features only 5 ingredients – instant tea, lemonade, Tang, cinnamon and cloves.
  • This tang tea recipe is a perfect gift.  Put it in jars, and seal up tight.  When your friends and family drink it, they will think fondly of you.
  • To serve, add 2-3 teaspoons of the tang tea mix to boiling water.
  • Be sure to leave room at the top of the cup because this spiced tea mix will fizz up when you mix with boiling water.
  • Love warm beverages Try Hot Cranberry Punch and Hot Buttered Rum!

Linking up to Weekend Potluck.

This Friendship Tea recipe is a homemade tea mix that combines instant tea, lemonade and Tang with some spices for a perfect warm drink. Make up a batch of this Friendship Tea to have on hand when guests drop in or to give as the perfect homemade gift with a plate of cookies.

Where can I buy Tang?

Tang is found in most supermarkets in the same aisle as pre-mixed lemonade.  The container is orange, and it has a resealable lid. If you can’t find it, try purchasing online on Amazon.

Does Tang go bad?

No, it actually does not have an expiration date on the canister.  Instead, you’ll find a date for when it is best used by.  As long as it is sealed tight, and stored in a dry place, it should last for a long time.

What is Russian Tea?

Russian tea is black tea flavored with citrus notes such as lemon and orange. It is typically a sweeter tea containing sugar.  Another version of Russian tea (also called Friendship Tea) contains pre-mixed lemonade and Tang with unsweetened instant tea.  The lemonade and Tang mimic the traditional Russian tea flavors.

This Friendship Tea recipe is a homemade tea mix that combines instant tea, lemonade and Tang with some spices for a perfect warm drink. Make up a batch of this Friendship Tea to have on hand when guests drop in or to give as the perfect homemade gift with a plate of cookies.

What can I make for homemade Christmas gifts?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to homemade Christmas gifts from your kitchen.  Here’s some great suggestions:

This Friendship Tea recipe is a homemade tea mix that combines instant tea, lemonade and Tang with some spices for a perfect warm drink. Make up a batch of this Friendship Tea to have on hand when guests drop in or to give as the perfect homemade gift with a plate of cookies.

Friendship Tea made with 5 simple ingredients, and the flavor is a delicious spiced orange. 
Print Recipe
4.50 from 2 votes

Friendship Tea

This Friendship Tea recipe is a homemade tea mix that combines instant tea, lemonade and Tang with some spices for a perfect warm drink. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: friendship tea, russian friendship tea, russian tea, spiced tea mix, tea with tang
Servings: 96
Calories: 18kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1 cup instant tea mix, unsweetened
  • 1 3/4 cups instant lemonade mix
  • 20 ounces Tang
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a zip lock bag until blended uniformly.
  • Pour into glass jars, and seal tight.
  • To serve, mix 2-3 teaspoons of tea mix with boiling water, to taste.  Be sure to leave room at the top of the mug to account for fizzing. 

Notes

  • Russian Friendship Tea is an easy, homemade tea mix that features only 5 ingredients---instant tea, lemonade, Tang, cinnamon and cloves.
  • This tang tea recipe is a perfect gift.  Put it in jars, and seal up tight.  When your friends and family drink it, they will think fondly of you.
  • To serve, add 2-3 teaspoons of the tang tea mix to boiling water.
  • Be sure to leave room at the top of the cup because this spiced tea mix will fizz up when you mix with boiling water.
  • Looking for more gift ideas?  Try our Caramel Puff Corn, Grandma's Chocolate Fantasy Fudge, Crock Pot Chili Nuts, or Cinnamon Glazed Pecans.
  • Love warm beverages Try Hot Cranberry Punch and Hot Buttered Rum!

Nutrition

Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

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28 Comments

  1. Thank you. My daughter in law is a tea drinker. I am going to make this for her for Christmas. I bought a cute little owl made of material for her to set her cup on.

  2. I have searched every recipe from Mother’s collection for this exact recipe that she made back in the 80’s for Christmas gifts. I have tried some of the others that call for sugar, but I cannot ever tweak it just right. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You can use sugar free orange drink. Crystal light or Wal Mart brand. I also use Lipton sugar free caffeine free tea with lemon

  3. I am going to make some up going to see daughter in Kansas spread some love ❤️ thank you amazing Ideas Do you know how to make the pink Tea everyone is Driving? Thank you again.

  4. I’ve been drinking this as long as I can remember, born 1970. My mom made and gave as part of our Christmas. I have carried on the tradition. It helps with colds. You can add a little rum as well.

  5. Thank you for the recipe. Just what I was remembering. You mentioned the Shelby County cookbook. Is this Shelby County Alabama by any chance?

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