This red currant honey iced tea has a wonderful, complex sweet tart flavor you’ll love! It’s a great way to make the best of fresh currants and create a refreshing summer drink.
This sweet tea recipe is easy to make, and like our Iced Citrus Tea with Agave and Mint it’s naturally sweetened and free from artificial additives.
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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.
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.
Red Currants Benefits
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.
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!
In addition to water and ice, here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this naturally sweetened currant tea:
2 regular tea bags or 1 family size tea bag – You can use any tea you like for this recipe. If you prefer to use loose tea in a strainer, you’ll need 1 tablespoon.
1 cup ripe fresh red currants
1/4 cup raw unfiltered honey – Local honey is always best when you can source it, but any honey will work for this recipe.
Fresh mint sprigs fresh currants and currant leaves for garnish.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to prepare this tea recipe:
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 slotted spoon
- 1 pitcher
- 1 metal mesh strainer
Step by Step Directions
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 pure 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.
Can You Freeze Fresh Currants?
Yes, you can freeze fresh currants. Freezing is a great way to preserve the freshness and flavor of currants for later use. Here’s how you can do it:
- Rinse the currants in cold water and remove any stems or leaves.
- Drain the currants on paper towels and gently pat dry.
- Spread the currants out on a baking sheet and place the pan in the freezer.
- Freeze the currants until they are completely frozen, which should take about 2-3 hours.
- Once the currants are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe airtight container or zip-top freezer bag.
- Label the container with the date and return to the freezer.
Frozen currants will typically stay fresh for up to six months in the freezer.
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Here’s the easy recipe:
Red Currant Honey Iced Tea
- 1 pitcher
- 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.
If you’re on Pinterest, here’s a handy pin to save the recipe:
About Eliza Cross
Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.