When preparing for a party one of the golden rules is to get as much done as possible ahead of time. If you wait for the day of your festivities to start checking off your "to-do" list, that plan of action can be too overwhelming and exhausting. It’s stressful enough trying to keep guests happy and enjoy your own party. Why not save some time/sanity and plan ahead? One great tip is instead of setting a bunch of booze out on a table or making an artisan cocktail (one empty glass at a time), how about serving a punch? A punch can be colorful and beautiful if put in a big glass bowl or drink dispenser. It can also be made several days in advance and can quench the thirst of any large crowd. The recipe below is PERFECT for just such an occasion! It was created by Kathy Casey; celebrity chef, mixologist, and pioneer in the bar-chef movement. She was named one of the "10 Most-Influencial People in the Past 25 Years" by Cheers Magazine. I used this punch for a party and had great feedback from all the guests. Fruity, delicious, slightly dark, but sweet; try it for yourself and see what you think!
Note about tea: it does not contain orange flavor, “Orange Pekoe” is a term used to grade the size and quality of dried black tea leaves. If you can not find this in your local store pick up some English Breakfast instead, any black tea will suffice. If using loose leaf add 1 Tsp of tea for every ¾-1 cup boiling water.
Bring water and tea bags to a boil. Add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat, let steep 10 minutes, then strain (if you are using loose leaf tea) and cool.
To the tea, add Martin Miller's Gin, pomegranate, orange, pineapple and lemon juices, and bitters. Stir together and chill until ready to serve. Add sliced mandarins or oranges and pomegranate seeds to punch before serving if desired. Serve in ice-filled glasses grated with fresh nutmeg.