My Favorite Holiday Tea Punch
For me, the best part of Chanukah is always having a crowd of people around to celebrate. I come from a large family, and I love to invite all of my friends over to enjoy the holiday. No matter how grand my plans are, something always falls by the wayside as the party approaches. I can plan my schedule out to the minute, but I’ll always run out of steam for something as the party draws near. That’s why I love making this punch. Everything happens ahead of time, and there’s almost no way to screw it up. It can be made up to a full day in advance, and it’s almost entirely hands-off. You’re only limited by your creativity with the spices and herbs you choose to include. You can even leave them out entirely and just stick the tea, if you want!
- 3 lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 teabags
- A little over 4 cups water
- Whole spices (like cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, star anise) or herbs (like rosemary or thyme sprigs) of your choice
- 1 750-milliliter bottle aged, dark rum (or whiskey or brandy)
- Ice, for serving
- Peel lemons and place the peels into a quart-size plastic container with sugar, and mix well. Let that sit for at least an hour (or even overnight), shaking every so often to keep things mixing. Separately, juice the lemons and save the juice for later.
- After the sugar mixture has sat for at least an hour, brew 4 cups of tea using 3 teabags. Add spices and/or herbs to sugar mixture; don’t worry about small pieces—you’ll strain this all later. Pour the hot tea into the sugar mixture, and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon juice from earlier. Let cool and then strain out the solids.
- Then add rum (or whiskey or brandy). Serve in a punch bowl with an ice ring, or put in a pitcher and serve in glasses filled with ice.