It’s currant season here in Colorado, and the red berries are ripe and ready to be picked. The berries are mouth-puckeringly tart, which creates a fun challenge when it comes figuring out ways to prepare them.
Currants are a great source of Vitamin C, and their vibrant red color is an indicator that they contain the antioxidant carotenoid lycopene, which has been linked to a reduction in cancer risk and heart disease.
In the past I’ve made homemade cassis from the currants, but this year I went searching for an iced tea recipe that would feature the ruby red berries. When I couldn’t find one, I had fun developing my own.
Some farmers market sell fresh currants, but if you don’t have a source for fresh berries you can make this recipe using frozen thawed currants. You can also use other tart juices like pomegranate or tart cherry juice. Experimenting is half the fun!
The first step is to make a fresh pot of hot tea. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a stainless steel pot over high heat. Remove from the heat and add 2 regular tea bags or 1 family size bag.
Let the tea steep for five minutes, or until it’s the strength you like it.
Remove the tea bag and cool to room temperature. Then transfer the tea to a glass container and chill in the refrigerator.
While the tea is cooling, extract the juice from the fresh currants. To do this, I simply add 2 tablespoons cold filtered water to 1 cup of fresh, washed currants in a shallow dish and smash with the back of a slotted spoon. You can also use a juicer if you have one.
Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes. Strain into a measuring cup, pressing down on the solids.
Depending on how juicy your currants are, you’ll probably have about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of juice. Add currant juice to iced tea and stir until combined.
Combine the honey with the hot water and stir until water is incorporated. Add to the iced tea mixture and stir until honey is completely dissolved. To serve, fill a glass 2/3 full with the iced tea. Add ice and garnish with fresh currants and mint sprigs if you like.
Here’s the easy recipe:
- 8 cups water
- 2 regular tea bags or 1 family size tea bag
- 1 cup ripe, fresh red currants
- 2 tablespoons water, room temperature
- 1/4 cup raw, unfiltered honey, or more or less to suit your taste
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- fresh mint sprigs, fresh currants and currant leaves for garnish
- Pour the water in a stainless steel pot and and bring it just to a boil over high heat.
- Remove from the heat and add tea bags. Steep, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the tea is as strong as you like it.
- Remove the tea bags and cool to room temperature. Transfer the tea to a glass container and chill for 2 hours.
- Pour the currants in a medium bowl or dish with 2 tablespoons water. Mash the currants with the back of a slotted spoon to extract the juice. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- Pour through a mesh strainer into a measuring cup, pressing down on solids. Add currant juice to iced tea and stir until combined.
- Combine the honey with the hot water and stir until water is incorporated. Add to the iced tea mixture and stir until honey is completely dissolved.
- To serve, fill a glass 2/3 full with the iced tea. Add ice and garnish with fresh currants and mint sprigs if you like.
Store tea in the refrigerator and drink within 2 days.
If you’re on Pinterest, here’s a handy pin to save the recipe:
P.S. You might also enjoy this recipe for Iced Citrus Tea with Agave and Mint.