Labor Day may be the unofficial "end of summer" but it's not the end of the hot weather here in San Jose! Cooling, refreshing drinks are still necessary to survive the warmth, especially for those of us who live in older homes without air conditioning. Tea – especially iced or cold-brewed – is a great drink to keep in the fridge, and mixed with herbs, edible flowers, fruit juices and citrus zest, it makes delicious mixed drinks and cocktails. Instead of the cherry juice, you can use pomegranate, pom-cherry or pom-grape juice, plain grape juice, or plain cranberry juice; anything that's full-flavored, a dark red color, and sweet-sour in flavor. The South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild uses the English Rose black tea blend from The English Rose tearoom in Pleasanton for this punch, but you can use any rose-scented black tea blend that you like. For more ideas, click here. This is how to make it:
2 cups cherry juice
4 to 5 cups brewed rose-scented black tea, chilled
2 cups lemon or orange-flavored mineral water
one fresh orange, juice and zest
Combine all ingredients except the mineral water and ice cubes in a large pitcher. Chill thoroughly. To serve, put 2 ice cubes (or as many as you want) in a glass, fill the glass halfway with the punch mixture, and top off with the mineral water. Enjoy! Makes 8 to 9 servings.
The rose flavoring provides a taste of the summer garden, and the mineral water gives the punch a nice citrus fizz. This tea punch is wonderfully easy to drink, especially on those really hot afternoons!
Copyright 2014, Elizabeth Urbach.
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For more information:
"Chinese black tea in San Jose"
"Tea-table recipe: rose-petal jam desserts"
"Review: Amandine Decanter by Teavana"
"Greet the summer in San Jose with iced tea during Iced Tea Month"
"Now is the time for garden parties and picnics in San Jose"
"Iced tea and how to make it"
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“Enjoy San Jose’s warm weather with a floral tea menu”
“Use tea in refreshing fruit spritzers this summer”
“All about tisanes, or ‘herbal teas’”
“How to: make rose jelly for your tea party pantry”
"Iced tea punches and cocktails"