Plan a Home & Garden Party: Ginger Minted Sparkling Punch

| August/September 2001

  • By Lucinda Hutson

Makes about twelve 8-ounce servings

This festive punch combines a spicy Ginger-Mint Syrup and freshly squeezed citrus juice, topped with inexpensive Spanish sparkling wine or ginger ale. You can add any combination of lemon verbena, lemon balm, and mint for additional flavor and garnish. Feel free to adapt the proportions of ingredients to suit you and your guests’ tastes.

Ginger-Mint Syrup
Makes 2 cups

• 2 lemons
• 1 lime
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 cup water
• 4 tablespoons grated fresh gingerroot
• 1 cup tightly packed mint leaves
• 1/2-inch piece vanilla bean, if desired

1. Remove the peel of the lemons and lime carefully, avoiding the white pith; reserve the lemons and limes for juice.

2. In a heavy 1-quart saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium-low heat. Add lemon and lime peels, ginger, and mint. Bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring gently, for 4 minutes. Cover and allow to steep until cool. Strain the cooled mixture, pressing down on the peel and herbs with a wooden spoon to extract the flavors. Store the syrup in the refrigerator. (In addition to this punch, the syrup can be used in other drinks, desserts, and over fresh fruit.)

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