There's something about warmer weather that gets us pumped for entertaining—for gathering a group for a picnic in the park, for hosting a pig roast, a clam bake, a make-your-own-taco gathering in the backyard. At these kinds of events, a bucket full of beer is totally fine, but punch makes it all just a little more festive, without fussing with stirring or shaking up individual cocktails.
This pitcher drink is tart and cooling, with bright, fresh mint and only the slightest whisper of rum. It's a sweaty-day punch based on tart, fragrant hibiscus tea—think of it as a hibiscus lemonade for grownups. You can mix it up early in the day (make a double batch if the day is warm) before your guests arrive. Serve over ice and garnish each glass with mint if you want to get fancy.
Notes: We used Tazo Passion tea for this punch, but you can use whatever hibiscus tea you like, or make your own from dried hibiscus flowers. To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves (about 30 leaves)
- 4 tablespoons simple syrup (see note)
- 1/2 cup juice from about 4 lemons
- 4 1/2 cups brewed hibiscus tea, cooled (see note)
- 1 cup aged rum such as Flor de Caña
- 1/2 cup chilled club soda
- 6 mint sprigs (optional garnish)
Place mint leaves and simple syrup in bottom of a lidded pitcher. Juice lemons and add lemon juice, cooled hibiscus tea, and rum to pitcher. Add 1 cup ice, stir and cover. Continue to step 2, or refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
When ready to serve, add club soda, stir gently, and pour into ice-filled serving glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired.