Colonial tea punch

Party starter: Colonial tea punch.
Party starter: Colonial tea punch. Photo: Josh Robenstone

The first party-starting cocktail, punch was especially popular in the American colonies. For a big group, you still can't beat the complexity and fun you can have with this basic punch formula. Try using different kinds of tea and spirits, or add splashes of fruit liqueur like triple sec and apricot brandy.

Ingredients

10 juicy lemons, juiced and peeled

1½  cups white sugar

4 cups strong, hot earl grey tea, strained

2 cups of your favourite bourbon, rye, dark rum or brandy

Method

1. Place lemon peels in a large mixing bowl and add the sugar.

2. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature overnight. By the next day, the sugar will be infused with aromatic lemon oils.

3. Pour the hot tea into the bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Strain the mixture into a large jug or punch bowl.

5. Add the lemon juice and spirits. Leave in the fridge to cool.

6. Serve over ice with a slice of orange and a grating of nutmeg.