If you like a little more than sugar and milk in your tea (nudge, nudge), check out my new Samovar blog post on tea punches. Excerpt:
Tea and punch have a long history together. Some say punch originated in India, where it was made from five key ingredients. (In Hindi, the word for five is “panch.” Many think this is where the word “punch” originated.)
These five key ingredients were: lemon or lime juice, sugar, water, liquor and vaguely defined “spice,” which could mean something we currently think of as “spice” (like nutmeg), something we would probably shun today (like a whale secretion that’s only used is perfume these days) or (yes, yes) tea.
As punch recipes spread across Europe in the 1600s, they evolved. Mixtures of multiple citrus juices and liquors were employed, and green tea and champagne widely replaced water as a core ingredient.
These innovations became much of the groundwork of the art of mixology, which is (gladly) enjoying a revival in San Francisco and other major U.S. cities right now.
Read more on Samovar's tea blog, and happy sipping!