As many of you know, I’m a certified bartender. When I’m not roasting, poaching or baking, I’m mixing, muddling and shaking. This weekend, I wanted to create a punch that was light enough to drink on its own and well-suited to the hot weather yet made from the fresh ingredients grown in my garden. My Citrus Rum Chiller was born.
While many of you may be growing mint, most of you probably don’t have an orange tree in your backyard, but any good-quality orange will do. Otherwise, the ingredients are accessible and the procedure simple.
2 c water
1 c sugar
8 sprigs fresh mint
4 c brewed black tea, chilled
2 c freshly-squeezed orange juice, strained to eliminate pulp
1 ½ c good quality dark rum (i.e., Bacardi 8 Year, Gosling’s Black Seal, Myers Dark)
10 mint sprigs for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and fresh mint sprigs.
Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, set aside. While mint syrup cools, brew tea and set aside. When mint mixture is cool, strain it through a sieve, discarding mint. Chill both ingredients at least 3 hours.
In a large pitcher, combine the mint syrup, tea, orange juice and rum. Pour into tumblers filled with ice. Garnish with mint sprig.
Makes 10 servings.