About the Recipe
- A recipe for iced tea was found in a cookbook called, Housekeeping in Old Virginia in 1879.
- A published recipe for iced tea appeared in the August 8, 1868 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
- This recipe for Regent's Punch predates both of these as it was published in 1847. While it is an alcoholic version of iced tea, it does show that people were not adverse to drinking chilled tea.
The Recipe: Regent's Punch
- 4 Tbsp Green Tea Leaves, Loose (or you can use 8 tea bags)
- 2 Quarts Water
- 1 Cup Red Currant Jelly
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar (or to taste)
- Juice of 4 Lemons
- 1/2 Cup Brandy
- 1 Lemon, Sliced in Rings
- Half of a 750 ml bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine (or more, if you like!)
- Brew Your Tea: Heat the two quarts of water to boil. Remove the water from the heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl or 2-quart size measuring cup. Allow to cool to just about 180-190º F. Then add the tea leaves to the hot water and allow to brew for about 2 minutes. Strain the tea leaves out of the brewed tea into another heat-safe bowl. Add the currant jelly and the sugar to the hot tea and allow them both to melt/dissolve into the hot tea. Stir. Set aside to cool and when cool place in the refrigerator for several hours.
- Assemble the Punch: Pour the sweetened and cooled tea mixture into a punch bowl. Add the lemon juice and the brandy. Mix together. You can add the Champagne at this point, if serving immediately. If not, place the punch back in the refrigerator to keep cold and add the Champagne just before service.
- Ice: You can also add ice to the punch at the time of service, but it is not part of the original recipe. I froze water with some raspberries in a pretty gelatin mold and used that as my ice. You could also freeze some of the green tea/red currant mixture in this way to keep from diluting the punch with plain ice.
- Finish the Punch: Top the punch with the lemon rings.