June is here, and in our house that means we’ve moved our bedroom downstairs for the summer, away from the stifling heat of the attic, and cleared a shelf in the refrigerator to be stocked exclusively with cold beverages until autumn leaves start to fall. I love the long days of summer but start to melt above 75 degrees. The thought of triple digit heat makes me want to buy a chest freezer just to sit in and if you need me come August, I’ll be at the dentist/movie theater/DMV, or really any place with air conditioning that will have me. Until the day comes when we spring for central a/c at home, a steady supply of cold drinks is the best method I know of for surviving — and maybe even enjoying — the summer heat.
Punch is a favorite chilled drink of mine because at its simplest it’s an easy blend of fruit juice and a carbonated element — if you use sparkling water, like I usually do, it’s more hydrating than juice alone — but the sky’s the limit. I made this sparkling citrus and honeydew tea punch with four kinds of fresh-squeezed citrus and the new Sweet Honeydew Green Tea from Stash. It’s a unique blend of mild green tea and refreshing melon — really, it tastes exactly like a perfectly ripe honeydew — that was made to be served cold. Mixing the citrus juices and the honeydew tea results in an immensely flavorful sweet-tart drink that’s less sugary and more complex than plain juice. Don’t forget the sparkling water — is it just me, or do bubbles make drinks extra refreshing?I brewed the tea extra strong so it doesn’t taste watered down when mixed with the sparkling water. Feel free to use more tea for even more honeydew green tea flavor. I also stirred in a couple scoops of sugar to lightly sweeten the Meyer lemon and lime juices I used in my punch. If you want to avoid added sugar, try sticking to sweeter fruits like oranges and red grapefruit. Serve the punch chilled to avoid diluting the flavors with ice. If you’re feeling fancy you can garnish each glass with a slice of fruit and tiny edible flowers (rosemary blossoms are a pretty and readily available choice). Keep cool, friends, and let me know if you give this punch a try!
Citrus and Honeydew Sparkling Tea Punch
A simple and refreshing take on sparkling punch with fresh-squeezed citrus juice and honeydew green tea.
- 4-5 bags Stash Sweet Honeydew Green Tea
- 12 oz. fresh-squeezed citrus juice chilled
- 8 oz. sparkling water chilled
- cane sugar or other sweetener, to taste optional
Steep the tea in 12 oz. hot water for 3 minutes. Discard tea bags and refrigerate tea until cold.
Add the chilled tea, citrus juice and sparkling water to a pitcher. Add sugar to taste and stir well. Serve immediately.
I used the juice from 1 navel orange, 1 red grapefruit, 1 Meyer lemon and a 1/2 lime. For sweeter punch with less tart flavor, stick to orange and sweet grapefruit juice.
Adding sugar highlights the honeydew flavor of the tea. The punch can be left unsweetened if a subtle, slightly tart flavor is desired.
For more concentrated tea flavor, add more tea bags to the hot water, but do no steep longer than 3-4 minutes or the tea may taste bitter.
This post was written in partnership with Stash Tea. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!