Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tea Punch

I have come across a punch recipe that incorporates tea.  This is from an old book Herb Gardening in Five Seasons  by Adelma Grenier Simmons, published in 1964 by E.P. Dutton.  I think I have had this book since about 1975 and turn to it often as my interest in herbs waxes and wanes.  Mrs. Simmons was the owner of Caprilands Herb Farm, which I visited several times when we lived in Connecticut.  I can't tell if it is still functioning from what I have seen on the Internet.

The punch uses my old favorite, orange mint. and is considered good for a summer punch, it certainly appeals to me on these hot days.

Mix 1 cup orange mint leaves, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 cups water in a large pan and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add to this pan 12 cups boiling water and either 6  teabags or 6 teaspoons of loose tea.  Let cool. Strain and add 2 6 ounce cans of frozen orange juice, thawed, and a cup of rum, stirring well.  Pour over ice.  I think and Earl Grey would be good with this or one of the citrusy Zinger teas.  If you don't want rum, use a bit of rum flavoring or just ignore it.  You could decorate it with edible flowers, like lemon marigolds, violas, or borage.

If you like, try this variation, using 2 cups of mint leaves, simmered in 6 cups of water for 30 minutes and adding the tea only for the last 10 minutes.  Dilute the orange juice as usual. You can substitute !/4 cup mint or basil vinegar for the rum.  This is very minty and you may have to add more sugar, carefully, to make it taste right to you.

A small church in Western Austria.  It looks cool in the heat haze.

I know many of you are suffering from the heat and/or worry of fires.  My heart and prayers are with you.

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