~ garden party tea punch ~
“UNDER certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. There are circumstances in which, whether you partake of the tea or not—some people of course never do—the situation is in itself delightful. Those that I have in mind in beginning to unfold this simple history offered an admirable setting to an innocent pastime. The implements of the little feast had been disposed upon the lawn of an old English country-house, in what I should call the perfect middle of a splendid summer afternoon. Part of the afternoon had waned, but much of it was left, and what was left was of the finest and rarest quality. Real dusk would not arrive for many hours; but the flood of summer light had begun to ebb, the air had grown mellow, the shadows were long upon the smooth, dense turf. They lengthened slowly, however, and the scene expressed that sense of leisure still to come which is perhaps the chief source of one’s enjoyment of such a scene at such an hour.” ~from Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
When I read excerpts from lovely old novels such as the one above I start to day dream about taking tea in the garden, garden parties complete with croquet games, cucumber sandwiches, men dressed in summer suits, ladies in gorgeous floral gowns and feminine hats with wide brims …and maybe…just maybe, they would serve a tea punch much like this.
3 cups boiling water
4 mint tea bags, or a few handfuls of fresh mint from the garden
4 English Breakfast tea bags
1 cup white sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
juice from 3 large lemons
5 cups cold water
orange slices, lemon slices and fresh mint for garnish
Steep the mint tea bags (or fresh mint), and English Breakfast tea bags in the 3 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes. Squeeze excess tea from bags. Discard bags. Stir in sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and cold water. Chill completely and serve over ice. Garnish with citrus slices and mint leaves if you wish. I like to serve this in antique and vintage teacups.
Happy Teatime Tuesday!