Cranberry Tea Cooler

Cook’s Notes: If you use cranberry cocktail or sweetened cranberry juice, reduce or omit the sugar in the tea. I’ve been drinking this a lot this summer. The juice and tea blend is quite refreshing. We get the unsweetened cranberry juice from Trader Joe’s — its only ingredient is tart cranberry juice. It has no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and no apple or white grape juice added. A related recipe for Club Soda Cooler follows.

1 cup water
1 regular-size strong black tea bag
3 T to 3.5 T sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cranberry juice (no other ingredients)
2 cups cold water

Make the tea: Heat 1 cup water in a measuring cup in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the tea bag and steep for exactly 15 minutes (set the timer). Discard the tea bag. Add the sugar to the hot tea. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Pour the tea into a 20-oz jug.

Pour unsweetened cranberry juice and 2 cups cold water in the jug. Close the lid and shake to combine. Let the mixture cool, then chill and serve over ice.

Club Soda Cranberry Cooler

Cook’s Notes: According to CCN, “Six ounces — just 3/4 cup of juice — counts as one serving of a fruit or vegetable.” Then a friend sent me a spritzer recipe that called for 3 parts club soda and 1 part juice. I devised the following drink formula based on these facts.

Pour into a 1-quart (32 oz) jug:
18 oz (1.5 cups) cold club soda
6 oz (3/4 cup) Cranberry Tea Cooler

Close the lid and shake gently to combine. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Makes 1 to 2 servings.

Note: If you use a 12-oz can of cold club soda, add only 4 oz juice or cranberry cooler.