Russian Tea! It’s a delicious concoction of orange and lemon juice with the warm notes of vanilla and almond. It is the perfect warm drink for a cold day!

Oh yum.

This warm Russian Tea is so, so delightful, and I’m not just saying that because we are going on day five without a centralized heat source.

I made this citrusy beverage for post Halloween trick-or-treating and since then, I’ve kept it nearly constantly in the refrigerator for a quick-heat-to-experience-bliss moment.

A white mug of tea with other empty mugs behind it.

The name is a little misleading since it doesn’t include real, live tea.

Instead it’s a wonderful blend of orange and lemon and warm notes of vanilla and almond.

While I have professed my love for hot chocolate abundantly in the past, I like knowing I have another warm beverage to serve right alongside for those that don’t like hot chocolate (gasp!) or that just want to think outside of the hot drink box for a while.

The wonderful thing about this super simple recipe is that you can adapt it to suit your own taste buds.

My husband, Brian, isn’t the biggest fan in the world of almond extract, so sometimes when I make this, I’ll leave it out.

But I will say, as a point in favor of the almond notes, that even though I have to agree with him sometimes (almond extract can be SO strong), I think it really adds to the delightful yumminess of this warm Russian Tea, so consider leaving it in, even if it is just a little smidgeon.

Say hi to Russian Tea. You should get to know her. She has a sweet personality.

Hand holding a white mug of tea.

One Year Ago: Healthy Applesauce Carrot Muffins {a.k.a. Carrot Cake Muffins}
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Pie
Three Years Ago: Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili


Warm Russian Tea

4.59 stars (17 ratings)


  • 2-3 cups sugar (see note)
  • 2-3 cups water (see note)
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice, 5-6 lemons
  • 3 quarts water, 12 cups
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract


  • In a large saucepan, heat the sugar and water to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 3-4 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat again until warm; keep warm on the stove or transfer to a slow cooker and heat on low until serving.
  • This can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated before heating and serving.


Sweetness: everyone’s “sweetness” level is a bit different so I included a range when making the simple syrup of sugar and water. Two cups sugar + two cups water is plenty sweet for me (keep reading for the brand of OJ I use, which may make a difference) but if you tend to like things less tart and more sweet, go for the three cups sugar + three cups water.
Orange Juice: I use the Simply OJ brand of orange juice. The fresh flavor really shines through (same with fresh lemon juice vs. bottled, but use what you prefer).
Serving: 1 Cup, Calories: 124kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 11mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g

Recipe Source: adapted slightly (reduced sugar) from a recipe my cute sis-in-law, Melissa, sent me after she had it at a church activity and requested the recipe (thanks, Meliss!)