It has been so dreary and awful in California this winter with no end in sight to the rain… My family has been very fortunate to have avoided the winter illnesses thus far but I have had a few mornings where I’ve woken up with a bit of a scratchy throat or just feeling sluggish and tired.
On those days, I always make a beeline for Starbucks to pick up a Medicine Ball drink (officially called a Citrus Defender on the Starbucks app.)
This drink is so comforting and delicious and always makes me feel better. If you have tried a Medicine Ball, you might love it as much as I do. If you haven’t tried it, be warned. This drink is addicting.
It is incredibly simple to make right at home and the flavor is pretty darn close to what you get at Starbucks. This drink was a cult favorite at Starbucks for years before they officially added it to the menu and they have released the recipe a few times so it is really simple to duplicate.
Here is what you need:
- Peach tea of your choice (Starbucks uses Teavana Peach Tranquility)
- Mint or Citrus Mint tea (Starbucks uses Jade Citrus Mint)
And to make this tea couldn’t be easier. Start with equal parts lemonade and water. My favorite mug is 16oz so I used one cup of each. For a smaller mug, you probably want to use 1/2 cup lemonade and 1/2 cup water. Add both liquids to a pot over high heat, just as the liquid starts to boil, remove from heat and pour into your mug. Add one teabag of each flavor and allow to steep for a few minutes. Drizzle honey to taste (about 1 teaspoon- 1 tablespoon) depending on your sweetness preference.
The only thing this drink is missing is the pump of peppermint that Starbucks uses. You can add a drop of Peppermint extract or you can purchase the Starbucks peppermint coffee syrup. I personally don’t care for the peppermint syrup so I always omit it from my drink.
A few tiny flavor notes, you can certainly skip the lemonade and instead use fresh lemon juice. I don’t find this drink to be especially sweet but if you want to really reduce the sugar, that would be a great option.
I have a hard time finding the exact teas (my Target is often out of stock on the Jade Citrus) so any brand will do. I have tried Tazo Refresh Mint which gets you close to the correct flavor but the Teavana has an extra zip of citrus that I really think adds a lot to this drink.
And there you have it. The easiest and most comforting drink for winter. Even if you aren’t a tea drinker, I bet you love the Medicine Ball.
And here are a few other drinks from Starbucks you can make right at home: