Friday, November 25, 2011

Low Country Punch

As noted yesterday, I hadn't planned any special beers for Thanksgiving dinner, but that didn't mean we didn't enjoy a tasty libation with dinner. Here's something a little different, for us anyway, that we served during our celebration. Low Country Punch combines black tea, sparkling wine, rum, brandy and peach brandy as the main ingredients. It's quite simple to put together and can be done very quickly.

The drink exhibited a nice balance of alcohol warmth and fruit-sweetness while the tea imparted a bit of bitterness at the end. The sparkling wine gave some palate cleansing efforvescnce. While it was a change from the craft beer or wine we typically serve with dinner, and a bit more potent, the Low Country Punch was an enjoyable addition to the meal. I suspect we'll be serving it up for friends over the upcoming holiday season.

Low County Punch, courtesy of Tasting Table
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Cook Time: 5 minutes

2 cups water
5 bags of black tea
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark rum
¾ cup brandy
¼ cup peach brandy
3 medium lemons, divided (use juice of 2 and thinly slice one to serve)
Large ice cubes
1 (750 ml) bottle sparkling wine, chilled

1. In a medium saucepot set over high heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes, then remove the tea bags and stir in the granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large punch bowl or pitcher, combine the cooled sweet tea, rum, brandy, peach brandy and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the ice cubes, the sparkling wine and lemon slices and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.

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