The Berger Bungalow: Holiday Drink Recipes: Cranberry Mint Christmas Tea + Apple Cinnamon Fall Tea

Holiday Drink Recipes: Cranberry Mint Christmas Tea + Apple Cinnamon Fall Tea
Posted on:11.16.2017

This time of year has a special place in my heart. I love the cool weather, which brings bonfires, warm blankets, and cuddles. I love the decorations, which to me, brings happiness. And finally, I love the joy, which brings parties, recipes, and time with friends and family. This time of year is just filled with so much love and happiness. I think my love for this season stems from my childhood and all of the memories we made as a family through our traditions. My all time favorite traditions that we had during this season were Christmas Eve Dinner with our entire (huge) family, Christmas Caroling in our neighborhood, Throwing Christmas gift wrapping paper at my dad (he was the trash collector when opening presents, ha!), and Prime Rib for Christmas Day Dinner. Now, as our family is getting older, some have moved away and our traditions have changed. Over the past few years, it feels like we have been holding on by a thread to what little tradition we have left, but this year, I was determined to change that because there is nothing I want more than to create traditions so that my niece and my future children can have the amazing experiences that I grew up having during the holidays. 

So, I got the family together again (finally!) and we are keeping some old traditions and starting some new ones while we are at it. I am beyond excited! To celebrate our traditions, my husband, Ian and I came up with a drink recipe to serve at Thanksgiving and another drink recipe to serve on Christmas Eve. How we created them was the fun part. I knew that I wanted to make things special by creating a new drink recipe, but Ian wanted to spice things up, so we had a competition to see who could make the best recipe. We both named our recipes and got to work. The one requirement that we agreed on was that we had to use the same base for our drinks. We chatted about it and decided to go with the award winning, Milo's Tea for our base, because we both love to drink it and serve it at parties. 

Milo's Tea Company is family-run and certified woman-owned business located in Bessemer, Alabama. Milo's was originally founded as a restaurant in 1946 and prided itself on high quality, fresh, and natural ingredients - they never wanted to sacrifice taste and they always listened to their customers. They didn't start selling their Famous Sweet Tea in grocery stores until 1989 and even then, it was just to local Birmingham grocery stores. Now, you can find Milo's beverages in thousands of retailers across the United States.  I found Milo’s at my local Kroger in the refrigerated juice and dairy section but they are available at lots of retailers. Find a store near you by using the store locator.

The great thing about Milo's Tea, in my opinion, is that the original vision is still going strong in the company today - they fresh brew all of their teas and never use colors, acids, additives, or preservatives. It features all natural ingredients! If you read the ingredient list on their packaging, you will see the difference compared to other teas that are sold in stores. I find their background so interesting and it makes me smile knowing that they have kept their traditions strong throughout the years, which is what I am hoping to do with our holiday traditions! 

With our base set, we got to work on our recipes! Ian decided to go with a Cranberry Mint Christmas Tea, while I created an Apple Cinnamon Fall Tea. Both were amazing! Ian used the unsweet Milo's tea and I used the tea that has been sweetened with pure cane sugar. They also offer no calorie, lemonade, and a tea and lemonade mix, but we opted for the basics. 

I made my recipe first and it turned out great - I was really impressed with my skills! While my drink was good, Ian's blew my recipe out of the park. He is talented in the kitchen - I don't know how he does it, but his recipes are always so creative and just plain amazing. I'm so lucky that I get to be his taste tester! So, while both of our recipes were great, his was significantly better than mine. Don't get me wrong, though - I would 100% drink mine on a cool fall evening with a bonfire going. His was just 'out of this world' good and how can you not drink that when it is in front of you?! Hint: you can't.

Our time that we spent together while creating these recipes was so much fun and I am so excited to make this a tradition in our home each holiday season to come. We will definitely bring both holiday drinks to our Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings this year, as well as some extra Milo's Tea because it really is the perfect beverage for holiday meal entertaining! Without further ado (because I know you really want to try these gorgeous drinks for yourself), here are our recipes! 
Apple Cinnamon Fall Tea

  • Milo's Tea - Sweetened with pure cane sugar
  • 2 large, honeycrisp apples
  • 7 cinnamon sticks

  • Peel your apples, cut them into medium-sized slices, and place them in a pot with enough water to almost cover the apples.
  • Add in six of your cinnamon sticks (or more if you'd like). Cover your pot and turn on your stove to medium heat.
  • About 5-6 minutes in, stir your apples to ensure that all apples are softening.
  • After 12 minutes, or when your apples are soft, turn off the heat and discard of the water and cinnamon sticks.
  • Place your apples in the food processor and process until smooth. Now, you essentially have apple sauce. Side note: I have the best apple sauce recipe ever, so if you want it, let me know! 
  • Grate your 7th cinnamon stick and put about 1/2 in your applesauce. Process your sauce again just to mix in the cinnamon.
  • In a lowball glass, place a few ice cubes, add 2 scoops of your applesauce, and fill the rest with Milo's Tea, and stir it up very well.
  • Garnish with a thinly sliced apple, ground cinnamon, and a cinnamon stick.
  • Enjoy!

Cranberry Mint Christmas Tea

  • Milo's Tea - Unsweetened
  • 1C cranberries + 2C cranberries
  • 1 tsp. sugar + 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 15 mint leaves

  • In a small bowl, mix 1C cranberries with 1/2C warm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Place in the fridge for an hour, or until you finish your recipe.
  • In a bigger bowl, mash 2C cranberries with the back of a spoon to release their flavors. 
  • Place the mashed cranberries in a pot on the stove with 2C water and 4 tbsp. sugar. Set the stove on medium-low heat.
  • Muddle 15 mint leaves with a dash of water. Add to the cranberries on the stove. Cook all of this until boiling and then turn down the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, mash your cranberries again in the pan, cover again, and cook for 5 more minutes. This is your chance to taste your cranberry mint syrup and alter, if needed. Feel free to add more mint or sugar on this step.
  • After 10 minutes of total cook time (with your lid on), take your cranberry mint simple syrup and let it cool in the fridge.
  • While cooling, make your sugar dusted cranberries, using the cranberries in the fridge. Pour your liquid out of the bowl and then roll your cranberries in sugar.
  • Once your syrup is cool, fill Ice in a highball glass, add 2oz. of your cranberry mint simple syrup, and fill the rest of the glass with Milo's Unsweetened Tea
  • Garnish with your sugar dusted cranberries and a mint leaf. Tip: Use a green or red toothpick, as shown in the picture.
  • Enjoy!

I am so beyond thrilled about our family traditions that we are starting (and continuing) this year and I cannot wait to share our drink recipes with everyone! Do you have any fun family traditions of your own? If you do and are having a get together, try one (or both) of these recipes and let me know what you think!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Milo’s Tea Company, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PassTheMilos

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