I am not much of a drinker, which is an understatement. I love champagne. Good champagne and that’s about it. Maybe I drink alcohol 4 times a year, which means that I am often around lots of people having their cocktails, wine and beer and I am drinking water. Not to say that is a bad thing. It is actually what I usually prefer, but every so often I want something fancy in a pretty glass. It just feels more festive. This Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Punch was developed to satisfy my own needs, knowing that there are plenty of you out there that love a good non-alcoholic option.
Tea in Punch?
Black tea actually has a history of use within punches and in fact, some of the very first punch recipes contained tea. Punch was developed by British sailors in the early 1600s, as an alternative to beer, during their time in India and other far-flung locales and their concoctions would contain spices, sometimes tea, and of course, spirits. Tea adds depth and an intriguing tannic flavor. It will also add caffeine, which is why I chose to use a decaffeinated black tea. You could use regular black tea, if you want the shot of caffeine as well. I am a tea drinker and brew loose tea every morning; I take my tea seriously. That said, the tea needed for this punch is going to be combined with other highly flavored ingredients, so a good quality bagged tea is fine here.
Gather Your Ingredients
We talk a lot around here about using the best quality ingredients you can in terms of cooking and baking and the same goes for beverages. Most of us make coffee or tea in the morning and then perhaps throughout the day we are grabbing a drink, be it water, seltzers, juices – hopefully not sodas or anything with artificial sweeteners. Anyway, we don’t typically “make” fancy non-alcoholic drinks. Attention to detail is just as important as when you are shopping for or making a roast beef or a pan of brownies.
I used pure cranberry juice, good quality decaffeinated black tea and craft ginger ale. Read labels! The Ripe Craft Northeast Blend Cranberry (which now sports a new label) contains only filtered water, cold-pressed cranberry juice and organic cane juice. (Note that they also have one cranberry blend that contains apple, so don’t get that one). Cranberry juices vary a lot. I like this one because it has a very light refreshing flavor and a very clear gorgeous color. The Gus Ginger Ale contains purified sparkling water, cane sugar, natural ginger root extract and other natural flavors, citric acid and caramelized sugar for color.
Note that you have a few chilling times in the recipe, so read it through and be prepared with your timing.
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Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Punch
This non-alcoholic Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Punch is the perfect accompaniment to your bar for those you want a low FODMAP, non-spirited option.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 7 cups (1.7 L); serving size 1 cup (240 ml)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 4 decaffeinated black tea bags
- 2 cups (480 ml) water
- 4 cups (960 ml) cranberry juice (see headnote), chilled
- 2 clementines, washed
- 1/2 lemon, washed
- 1/2 lime, washed
- 1 cup (150 g) red seedless grapes, halved lengthwise, plus extra for garnish
- Make the Simple Syrup: Stir together the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for about 1 minute, swirling pot once or twice, until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
- Make the Punch: Place 4 tea bags in a heatproof vessel, such as a teapot or large Pyrex measuring cup. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, pour over tea bags and let steep for 3 minutes. Remove and discard bags. Chill the brewed tea.
- Combine the chilled brewed tea with the cranberry juice in a large clear pitcher. Slice the clementines, lemon and lime crosswise and add to pitcher. Add the grapes. Sweeten to taste with the Simple Syrup, but know that the ginger ale will add some sweetness, too. Punch is ready to serve but is even better if you allow fruit and liquid to meld for a few hours in the refrigerator.
- To serve, pour punch in clear glasses and top with ginger ale right before serving. Thread extra whole grapes on bamboo skewers to use as swizzle sticks, if you like.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.