Orange Green Tea Punch

Orange-Green-Tea-Punch.jpgI really haven’t missed alcohol much at all for the past seven months. I kind of thought I would – we were living in wine country up until two weeks ago, after all. But no, I’ve been perfectly content to just drink tea, water, juice and small amounts of coffee since finding out I was pregnant back in July.

Deli meat, on the other hand, is a totally different story. All I want in life lately is a ham sandwich, piled high with meat, some Swiss and mayo. I’ve tried heating up the meat first, but it isn’t the same. I’ve already directed Dan to make sure my first post-delivery meal is a sandwich.

The one exception to the “I don’t really miss alcohol” rule seems to be when I think about New Year’s Eve. It is the one time of year when we make brandy slush, and we savor every last glass of that batch. That obviously isn’t going to be how we ring in 2015. We’ll also be forgoing our usual board-games-and-cocktails New Year’s Eve party. I don’t think we’ll be up for driving to Milwaukee for our friends’ party that soon after moving and closing on our house, and I doubt we will be unpacked and settled enough to host a big crowd at the new place.

Orange-Green-Tea-Punch.jpg

I’ll be honest, I’m a little bummed to be missing out on our annual December 31 traditions. But, I reason, nearly all of our traditions are going to change in some way next year anyways, right? We won’t be giving them up entirely, but they’ll be tweaked to better fit our new little family. And that’s what we’ll do this year – tweak our New Year’s Eve traditions to allot for all the life changes we’ve made in the past six weeks. Maybe we won’t host or attend a giant game night complete with a full cocktail menu, but we can still have a small group of family or friends over a game or two. And while I may not make a big batch of brandy slush to ring in the new year, I can certainly make a bowl of orange green tea mocktail punch that our alcohol-drinking friends can spike with some brandy.

Cheers to the holiday season and ever-changing traditions!

Orange Green Tea Punch

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Serves 12-16

Orange Green Tea Punch

This fruity mocktail punch will please all of your guests. Offer a bottle of brandy alongside the punch and allow the adults to spike their drinks as desired.

Adapted from this brandy slush recipe .

Ingredients

  • 4 bags green tea
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 9 cups water, divided
  • 16 ounces orange juice
  • 16 ounces cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
  • 16 ounces citrus soda (7Up, Sprite, etc)
  • Ice
  • Orange slices or candied orange peel, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange the tea bags in a big heat-proof bowl. It will need to hold all of the punch, so be sure it is extra-large! Scoop the marmalade and sugar into the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Bring seven cups of water to just below a boil. Pour over the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and whisk to finish mixing in the sugar and marmalade.
  4. Add the remaining two cups of water and both the orange and cranberry juices to help cool the punch.
  5. When the punch is at room temperature, it can be chilled. Either refrigerate it for later (and add ice just before your party) or add ice now.
  6. Just before serving, stir in the citrus soda.
  7. Garnish each glass with an orange slice or a few pieces of candied orange peel (optional) before ladling in the punch.
http://www.savvyeat.com/orange-green-tea-punch/

Cherry Ginger Shrub

Cherry Ginger Shrub // Savvy Eats I may have gone a little overboard with the sweet cherries this year. When we went cherry picking on July 4th, we were told that we should pick as much as we’d want for the year that very day. Heavy rains the week before had caused all the Bings and some of the Rainiers to split, so the woman at the farm stand predicted that it would be the only weekend we could pick some good cherries. So of course, I did what any good canner does and panicked, thinking of all the potentially lost jars of jam and preserves, picking as many cherries as I could fit in my containers. I came away with nearly 19 pounds, most of which needed to be processed within 3 days or they would spoil. Cherry-Ginger-Shrub2 Uh, 19 pounds is a LOT of cherries. And probably way more than I ever needed for the year. Oops. So now my freezer is stocked full with cherries for smoothies, and my canning shelves are lined with cherry lime jam, cherry chipotle preserves and a sweet cherry butter. But possibly my favorite way that I preserved sweet cherries this year is this cherry ginger shrub. I first discovered the delight of cherry shrub at my favorite coffee shop. I was there for some work, and it felt too hot for coffee, even of the iced variety. So instead, I ordered the cherry shrub, a concoction of cherries, sugar and balsamic vinegar poured over sparkling water. It was so refreshing, in all its sweet-tart glory, and I was determined to make my own version at home. Cherry ginger shrub for a sweet-tart mocktail or cocktail // Savvy Eats I’ve been sipping this with sparkling water throughout the day, but it would also be great in a rum or bourbon cocktail. Either way, take a big glass of shrub outside to read in the sun a bit – it is my ultimate way to relax lately!

Cherry Ginger Shrub

Yield: About 2 1/2 cups

Cherry Ginger Shrub

I've been sipping this with sparkling water throughout the day, but it would also be great in a rum or bourbon cocktail. Either way, take a big glass of shrub outside to read in the sun a bit - it is my ultimate way to relax lately!

Adapted from Reclaiming Provincial.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Stir the cherries and sugar together in a large bowl, and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Mash the cherries with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork to break up the fruit and help the berries release their juices.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. Mash up the cherries again, to break them up as much as possible.
  3. Stir in the vinegars, and transfer the shrub to a big glass jar. Store at room temperature for 4-5 days, shaking the jar a bit each day. Strain the shrub through a fine mesh strainer or a piece of cheesecloth, and transfer to a clean jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
http://www.savvyeat.com/cherry-ginger-shrubs/