I have a little confession to make. I haven’t been drinking much lately, like almost at all. It’s not like I was ever an excessive drinker, but I used to love winding down after work with a glass of red wine. I’ve never been keen on doing Feb Fast or Dry July. And if I want a drink, like a chilled glass of Rosé on a warm night, I’ll surely have one. But I haven’t wanted one. Pinot Noir used to be my favourite, but I can tell you the last time I had a glass was in 2015.
At first I thought it was weird – I was the boozy desserts girl after all – but then I realised this is just a season in my life, and it’s completely fine. But I do still love creating cocktails because I love experimenting with flavours. I’ll just share it with my housemate afterwards!
Today I want to share one of my favourite things to make when I have guests – this super pretty Party Iced Tea Punch. It is a total crowd pleaser. I first made this for a Christmas lunch with my girl friends, where one was a new Mum and the rest were driving. So I was looking for a drink that we could share that wasn’t Pimm’s or Sangria (our usuals). And this iced tea punch was born.
I love that this ‘recipe’ is super versatile. You can make it with booze or without (it’s good both ways, I promise) and use different kinds of tea depending on your taste, and whatever berries and fruit you like. I’ve made it in a pitcher to serve 2 or 3 and also in my big trifle bowl for a bigger crowd. It’s a winner. Promise.
The secret weapon in this punch is the lychee berry ice cubes. I’ve talked before about flavoured ice cubes as a revelation to keep your drink cold but not diluted. In fact because the ice cubes are made with lychee juice, the drink gets even more and more delicious as they begin to melt. They make your drink look so pretty and are the easiest thing in the world to make the night before you are having guests.
Now lets talk about tea. This post is not sponsored but I have to say that T2 has been making some of the most delicious and interesting teas in Australia for the last few years. I’ve made this punch with both Ayurvedic Passion (the best smelling tea ever) and Green Rose (the second best) – both delicious. You can use whatever you like, but I’d definitely recommend a green tea base over black tea so your delicate fruit flavours can shine through. Bonus points if your tea has some delicious flower or fruit profiles in it too.
In the punch I also used extra berries (frozen are totally fine here!) as well as lychees, apple slices, mint leaves and topped up with soda or lemonade for a little extra sweetness. And, if you’re looking for a boozy version, Hendricks gin has notes of rose and cucumber and works really well here. Every time I have made this Iced Tea Punch it has been a total crowd pleaser, so I hope you try it the next time your girl friends come over.
Related Post: The Garden Party Cocktail
Pretty Party Iced Tea Punch
Serves 2-3 but can be scaled up
Lychee Ice Cubes
- 1 can lychees in juice
- Fresh or frozen raspberries
- Mint leaves
- 3-4 tablespoons loose leaf green tea of your choice
- 60ml gin (optional)
- Fresh of frozen raspberries
- Mint leaves
- 1/2 green apple, sliced with a mandoline
- Lemonade or soda, to top up
To make the lychee ice cubes, I used a large six square cube ice cube tray. Place 1 lychee and a few raspberries and mint leaves into each ice cube and top up with lychee juice. Place in the freezer overnight.
To make the iced tea, brew your green tea with boiled water at least 2 hours in advance. I also like to do this the night before because I love my tea strong.
When your guests arrive, fill your pitcher halfway with cooled green tea. Add the gin if using, extra raspberries, mint leaves, green apples, and ice cubes. Top up with lemonade or soda and give it a stir with the end of a wooden spoon to evenly disperse the fruit. Serve immediately.