I can’t remember the last time I was at a gathering and there was a non-alcoholic punch offered to those who don’t want to (or aren’t old enough to) drink alcohol. Actually… yes I can. It was when I was a kid at Christmas and my Dad would make this tea and fruit punch. I don’t know why people don’t make fun punches very often anymore. These days, you see bottles of soda or iced tea left out as a non-alcoholic option for party-goers, but a punch like my Dad’s tea and fruit punch is so much more inviting and lets the guests know that some special thought has been given to them as well.
The ingredients for Dad’s tea punch are not hard to find. The only thing you need to do ahead of time is brew some black tea. You can do this a day beforehand or several hours before and let it cool or, if you’re in a hurry, brew very strong tea and then dilute it with ice cubes. This will cool it down much more quickly. Then, you have some slicing and juicing left to do, but the rest of the recipe is just pour and stir.
Once you’ve mixed everything together, you’ll notice that the punch is not a pretty color (at all!), but you can really dress this punch up and make it beautiful with slices of different citrus fruit. If you’re making it at Christmastime, mandarins should be readily available in the grocery store and they make such a nice garnish, contrasting in size to the orange slices. Because grapefruit are so large, cut the slices in half so that they fit with the other slices of fruit.
Add the ginger ale at the very end so that there is a little sparkle to the punch. If you add it too soon, all the bubbles will disappear. I loved this punch as a kid, but I love it still as an adult too. It’s entirely drinkable and you can have as much of it as you like… unless, of course, you think adding a little orange vodka might be nice! 😉