Recipes for Holiday Punch

Celebrate the season with tasty herbal punches.

| November/December 2005

The holidays are here and it’s time to entertain. When company comes calling, a beautiful punch bowl can be the center of a party spread. As an alternative to the standard recipes, it’s fun to experiment with herbs, such as rose hips, cinnamon, mint and nettle. This not only gives guests some healthy alternatives, but it is a great way to introduce guests, who may be unfamiliar with herbs, to their charms.

Punches can be served hot or cold, depending on the type of party you’re having. A cold, fruity beverage can add a lot of atmosphere to a cocktail party while a hot drink is wonderful after spending the day outside. It’s fun to add a little fizz in the form of ginger ale or ginger beer to the cold drinks. Natural fruit sorbet makes a tasty and attractive garnish.

Holiday Punch Recipes:

• Hot Mulled Apple Cider with Cranberry and Rose Hips 
• Pineapple Mint Punch
• Orange Green Tea Zing
• Spiced Chamomile Apple Punch
• Grape Sparkle with Nettle 

Add Pizzazz with Herbs

When adding an herbal tea to a punch, aim to complement the overall character of the plant. For example, a delicate herb like chamomile blends well with light flavors like apple, and rose hips work well with the tartness of cranberry. You also can compose a party beverage by keeping in mind the medicinal uses of a plant. Here is a short list of some herbs, their medicinal uses and possible flavor combinations:

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