{recipes} Cranberry Punch & Citrus-Peppermint Tea

While warm drinks are nice for Christmas gatherings, sometimes it is nice to have a cold drink option (especially if you live in the South) at your family meal or friend gathering.
These 2 simple yet festive cold drink options will leave your guests’ taste buds feeling merry!

Cranberry Punch

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This punch is always a crowd-pleaser and goes especially well with hors d’oeuvres as guests arrive. The color and the cranberries make this a perfect Christmas punch that is extremely simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 liter of chilled ginger ale
  • 1 liter of chilled Sprite or Sierra Mist
  • 25-30 ounces of chilled cranberry juice (about 1/2 of typical size)
  • 6-8 ounces of cranberries

 


Instructions:
  • Combine the chilled ginger ale, Sprite, and cranberry juice pouring slowly into a 2-gallon container.
  • Rinse cranberries and discard any discolored.
  • Place the cranberries in the dispenser and they will float at the top.
This recipe makes approximately 1.75 gallons.
›› Tips to keep this punch cool: Freeze cranberries and they will serve as ice without watering down the punch. Freeze the juice for 2-3 hours in container prior to mixing to make it a slush consistency.  The slush will dissolve, but it will help to keep the punch stay cool.  You could also consider freezing some juice in ice cubes if you want it cool for a longer period of time. Or you could make a punch ring if you are serving in a traditional punch bowl.

Citrus-Peppermint Tea

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This recipe starts with a base of sweet southern iced tea and is infused with flavors to make your drink pretty and delicious.

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Ingredients:
  • 1 large lemon or 2 small
  • 1 navel orange
  • peppermint leaves
  • 4-5 family size tea bags
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar or preferred sugar substitute
Directions for base tea:
(If you wish to skip this part you can purchase store-bought tea, but fresh-made tea is tastier and extremely simple.)
  • Bring approximately 1 quart of water to a boil in a kettle or covered pot then remove from heat.
  • Add 4-5 family-size tea bags, cover, and allow tea to steep for 5 minutes (less if you like your tea weaker but too much more can make your tea bitter).
  • Remove tea bags.
  • Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar or sugar substitute to the warm tea and stir until dissolved. (Southern-style sweet tea often has more sugar than is called for in this recipe, but here the reduced amount of sugar ensures that the other flavors mixed into the tea won’t be missed.)
  • Pour tea into a gallon container or pitcher then add chilled water and ice to the 1-gallon mark (3 more quarts). If your container is glass, be careful to make sure the water is not so hot that it cracks your container when you pour it in! IMG_4545
Directions for flavoring:
  • Slice fruit and remove seeds.
  • Float the fruit on top of the tea alone with 10-20 peppermint leaves.
  • Allow the fruit and mint to infuse in the fridge for an hour prior to your guests arrival.

 

This recipe will make a little bit more than a gallon.

 

 

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