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Beat the summer heat with iced tea punch or "mocktails"

Raspberries and basil -- good additions to a tea punch
Raspberries and basil -- good additions to a tea punch
Elizabeth Urbach

With the beginning of summer comes the perfect weather for a refreshing glass of iced tea. Although there is no reason to become bored with good old iced tea– because of the wide range of flavored teas commercially available – tea can be used to make many other cold beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Alcohol-free beverages include punches, virgin cocktails or “mocktails”, spritzers, and of course, the ever-popular Arnold Palmer — iced tea and lemonade mixed together in equal parts. Then, there are the alcoholic punches and cocktails that contain tea; there are so many options! You can also make floats with green tea ice cream and lemon-lime soda, which is sure to be popular with the kids. Here is an antique adults-only recipe from a book called _Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks_, published in 1869.

G.M. Gurton’s Punch.—1/2 pint of rum, ½ pint of sherry, ½ pint of brown brandy, 1 gill of Curaçoa, 1 pint of lime-juice, 1 gill of ginger syrup; mix together, and add to 3 pints of an infusion of weak green tea; sweeten to taste; mix well. This can be used either as a hot or iced drink; if iced, use more liquor, from 4 to 5 pints.

That is a really strong mixture! If you decide to make it, you should know that a “gill” is a measurement equal to 1/2 cup of liquid. I would probably dilute it more with green tea, to make it less intoxicating in the heat. Try that one at your next garden party or cocktail get-together! For more tea punch recipes, click here.

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For more information:
"Now is the time for garden parties and picnics in San Jose"
“Bottled tea may contain fewer antioxidants than freshly brewed tea”
“Use tea in refreshing fruit spritzers this summer”
“Review of Summer House Iced Tea from Peet’s Coffee & Tea”

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