Vanilla Almond Iced Tea

Looking for a  non-alcoholic Springtime punch for a shower or luncheon?  We have one that we love.  You can change this up by adding an ice ring made with ginger ale and layered with fruit and mint leaves.   A simpler version for a smaller crowd would be ice cube trays filled with ginger ale and an assortment of mint/fruit in the trays.  Or floating orange, lemon, and lime slices also is a great look.  This is easy, yummy, and also great because it can made be made the night before.   This makes a very large amount, so feel free to adjust to your party size.

Vanilla Almond Iced Tea (if you are old-fashioned, you can certainly add Punch to the name!)

8 cups of water, divided

4 Family size tea bags

1 cup sugar

1 cup lemon juice

1/8 cup almond extract

1/8 cup vanilla

5 to 6  two liters of ginger ale, chilled

slices of orange, limes, and lemons to float on top (optional)

 Boil 4 cups of water in a dutch oven.  Steep 4  family size tea bags in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes with heat off.  Remove tea bags.  Add 4 more cups of water.   Add 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of sugar, 4 cups of ice, 1/8 cup of almond extract, and 1/8 cup of vanilla.   Stir until well blended.  Freeze this in smaller containers to make party time a breeze.  I prefer to freeze this in smaller plastic tupperware type containers (about a cup or cup and a half  in each container).    Set the containers out about an hour before the party.  Right before the party, use a fork to loosen the ice to get a slushy mix.  Transfer the tea mixture in a punch bowl.  Add a 2 liter of ginger ale per container.   Once 3/4 is gone, add another container of slushy mix and another 2 liter of ginger ale.  Make sure you continue to partially thaw the containers of tea mixture. 

This  recipe makes approx.  80 punch cup servings.  I halved this recipe recently and still have a container leftover.  The container will keep in the freezer  and I will pull it out for a spur of the moment Summer luncheon.

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