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Ceylon Punch

Nana Ling's prize winning punch recipe.
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ceylon punch

Nothing says summer (and party time) like punch. Ceylon Punch recipe is a non-alcoholic punch recipe, too, so everyone can enjoy it.

It’s also a little bit special.

Eighty years ago, my great Nana Ling entered it in a weekly recipe competition with her local paper, The Maitland Mercury, and it won!

Yes, this is a prize-winning punch recipe.

ceylon punch

Celebrating with punch

Punch has long been a celebratory drink.

Our big family parties in the 80’s definitely weren’t complete without a giant punch bowl in the middle of the table and Nan Mac’s Mock Chicken.

So, what better way to celebrate my return to the Hunter Valley (after nearly 20 years in Sydney) than with Nana Ling’s Prize-winning Punch recipe.

Back home in the Hunter

A few weeks ago, I made the 165 km move from Sydney back to the Hunter Valley. It’s only been a few weeks, but already I’m completely at home again in the Hunter Valley.

And my Sydney-born-and-bred husband and our two girls are also happily transitioning from the city to the wider open spaces and more relaxed pace in the Hunter. 

When I started this recipe blog, which is based around my great grandmother’s handwritten recipe books, I had a great feeling that it was something worth doing and something that might bring happiness and who knows what else.

I felt like it was closing a gap, helping me feel closer to my family history and the basic, good things in life – like home cooking.

It has made me happy. I’ve learnt so much and I love hearing from people – all around the world – who are enjoying the recipes.

It has indeed led to “who knows what else”, namely a TV appearance and being featured on my favourite podcast.

What I gradually realised, was that it also seemed to be gently leading me on a path back to my childhood home (and Nana Ling’s home), the Hunter Valley in NSW, Australia.

hunter valley
Our new “backyard” in the Hunter Valley

Back to where it began

Within 12 months of starting the blog, my family is making a new start in Maitland. The place where Nana Ling started carefully recording recipes by hand in small black notebooks.

Nana Ling likely purchased these notebooks from “Sydney Arcade” (she loved keeping records and has this location handwritten on the inside cover of the books ). In her beautiful handwriting, she recorded hundreds of recipes over many years from her home on a property in Maitland.

Back in Sydney, nearly 80 years later, I pulled out the recipe books which I’d inherited and started carefully re-recording her handwritten recipes (and others, like this Punch recipe, that she entered in newspaper competitions) on this blog.

Now, I feel like the circle is complete again as I continue to bring her recipes back to life from my new home on a small acreage in Maitland.

I can’t wait to keep cooking and see where else this blog leads me.

cookbook sitting on shelf
Nana Ling’s 80-year-old handwritten recipe book resting happily on the shelf in my new Maitland kitchen

(oh, and I’m bursting with excitement that my kitchen has an island bench that the girls can now sit at and help me re-create the recipes!)

Miss Z and Miss Y in the kitchen
Miss Z and Miss Y looking pretty pleased that our new kitchen has an island bench

Nana Ling’s prize-winning Ceylon Punch recipe (as it appeared in The Maitland Mercury on 14 November 1939)

Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.

nana ling ceylon punch
ceylon punch

Ceylon Punch

Nana Ling’s prize winning punch recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Australian, English
Keyword: punch
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 92kcal


  • 1 cup freshly brewed ceylon tea (or any other tea you enjoy)
  • 1 pineapple
  • 6 oranges
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1.1 litre bottle of soda water


  • Combine sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and stir over heat until boiling. Simmer for 5 minutes and then set aside sugar syrup to cool.
  • Grate pineapple. Add 1.7 litres of water and then boil for 30 minutes. Allow to cool a little and then strain using a muslin cloth. Retain the juice.
  • Juice the lemons and oranges.
  • Combine tea, sugar syrup, pineapple juice, lemon and orange juice. Chill.
  • Add soda water and ice cubes before serving. Garnish with lemon and orange slices and a little mint. 


Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Vitamin C: 102mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating

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Aimee Michelle Evans

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

What type of tea do you use? I usually don't drink tea but when I do, I lean towards herbal teas.


Tuesday 11th of August 2020

Hi Aimee. I used Ceylon tea, a type of black tea, however any tea would work with this recipe. A herbal tea would be lovely :)

Jennifer George

Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

This is a great time to pull out the old recipe books. My grandmother was a Home Ec teacher around the same time your Nana Ling was alive. I have her workbooks with recipes and notes on my shelves. I think I will pull them out and see how many can still be made. I am never quite sure how to convert measurements to modern metric ones.

(Only moved from Lorn about 6 years ago, lived in a lovely old falling down, sloping house there!)


Thursday 23rd of April 2020

Hi Jennifer. It sure is and it's one of my favourite things to do.You really should pull those books out, I've had such fun with Nana Ling's recipes. You'll find treasures in there, I'm sure. The good thing is we have Google now and that's how I decipher some of the things I can't understand. There's usually an answer out there somewhere on the web. Happy cooking :) x


Friday 22nd of February 2019

I'm still in awe that you are in possession of such treasured recipes! Excited for your new beginning at your new home. I will definitely try this punch recipe out at our next special occasion. Thank you for posting!


Sunday 24th of February 2019

Hi Laura. Great to hear from you again :) Yes, I'm still in awe too that I have these treasures. Do try the punch - it's super lovely. Libby xx


Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Hi Libby welcome back home your recipes are just lovely ,hope your new home brings you nothing but joy and happiness.xx


Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Hi Carolyn. Thank you so much for your lovely wishes, much appreciated xx

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