I was in the habit of stopping by my local convenience store once a day to get a cool drink, usually a fruit tea or something similar. The cost for a single 16-20 ounce fruity beverage was typically around $2.50. I assumed that these fruit drinks were a healthier alternative to soda… well, not really.
One 18 ounce “fruit infused beverage” I recently purchased at the premium price of $2.80 has as its first two ingredients water and erythritol (sugar alcohol). This is a no-calorie sugar substitute that is largely indigestible so the body expels it as waste. Your body saves on calories by not digesting it. Not good. I once ate ice-cream that contained sugar alcohol that gave me gas and diarrhea. Plus, real fruit juice made up only 4% of this rather pricey “fruit infused beverage.” All I was really paying for was water and sugar substitute. That’s a waste of money.
I decided to start making my own “fruit infused beverage.” I knew that cold brewing tea makes it taste sweeter because bitter tannins are not released by the tea as they are when it is brewed hot. By combining cold-brewed tea with a splash of fruit juice you can make a much cheaper and healthier alternative to pricey bottled drinks with dubious ingredients. And, it is dead simple.
My favorite tea for cold brewing is Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger. This is a herb tea with the primary ingredients of hibiscus and rosehips, a tasty and healthy tea that is naturally sweet when cold-brewed. Here’s the recipe:
To a 2 quart container I add three Raspberry Zinger tea bags and one green tea bag. I fill the container with one and a half quarts of water. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least four hours for the tea to cold brew. Add a half cup of your favorite fruit juice to taste (I prefer grape juice). That’s it!
It’s naturally sweet, has no strange ingredients, and is low in sugar (contains only the natural sugar from the fruit juice). You will not yearn for any added sugar because of the sweeter taste that comes from cold-brewing the tea. Plus, it is far cheaper than buying cold drinks from a convenience store. A box of your favorite tea and a bottle of juice will cost about $6.00, and will make about 14 quarts of the best-tasting low-sugar fruit tea you can find! Enjoy!