Minty Peach Tea Punch is a festive sparkling beverage of mint-infused tea mixed with fresh peach nectar, simple syrup, ginger ale, and club soda, perfect for spring or summer showers, barbecues, and parties!
PREPARE THE SIMPLE SYRUP: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir for a minute or two until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
PREPARE THE MINT TEA: In a large pot, bring the remaining 6 cups water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the tea bags and the mint leaves. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Cool to room temperature and strain the tea into a 2-gallon jug, punch bowl, or container, discarding the mint leaves.
PREPARE THE PEACH NECTAR: While the simple syrup and mint tea are cooling, add enough water to a large pot to cover the peaches once they are added (the pot will probably be about ½ to ⅔ full of water). Bring the water to a rolling boil. Gently lower the peaches into the boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds until the skins start to split. Use a slotted spoon to immediately transfer the peaches from the boiling water into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice and water). After 20 seconds in the ice bath, remove a peach, pinch the skin, and slip off and discard the skin.
Cut the peaches into slices, discarding the pits (you should end up with about 4 cups of sliced peaches). Add the peaches to a blender or food processor along with the lemon juice. Blend/process until smooth. Pour the peach puree through a fine mesh sieve into the jug of cooled mint tea. Add 1 cup simple syrup and stir well to combine all ingredients (cover and refrigerate leftover simple syrup).
Cover and refrigerate punch for at least 4 -- and up to 12 -- hours. Just before serving, gently stir in the ginger ale and 1 liter club soda. Taste and adjust the sweetness by adding more simple syrup (for sweeter) or more club soda (for less sweet) or both (for sweeter and fizzier).
The ideal peaches to use in this recipe should be sweet, soft, and ripe, not hard or green. If the skins don't slip off the peaches after the boiling water/ice bath, they probably aren't ripe enough.
You can actually make the punch early in the day (or even the day before) and allow the ingredients to chill. Just make sure that you wait to add the ginger ale and club soda to the punch until just before serving.
This recipe will use one full liter of club soda for sure. You may not use the second liter, or you may use only a portion of it, depending on how sweet/fizzy you prefer your punch. Any leftovers from the second liter of club soda can be used to "refresh" the fizziness of any leftover servings of punch the next day.
If peaches are out of season, you may substitute 4 cups of store-bought "peach nectar" (try to find a brand with all-natural ingredients) for the fesh peach puree.