On a large serving tray, arrange the teapots alongside the bottle of liqueur, a small pitcher of simple syrup, the bowl of whipped cream, and a plate of the candied lemon peel.
Invite guests to sample different teas and flavor them as they desire.
Bring water to a boil. Turn off heat. Add bruised mint leaves and allow to steep.
In a saucepan combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cook's note: For the afternoon tea, make a double batch of simple syrup. Reserve half for the tea bar and use the other half to make the candied lemon peel.
Candied Lemon Peel:
Yield:12 to 16 strips
Using a vegetable peeler cut the yellow part of the lemon from the stem end down to the navel end, forming long 3/4 to 1-inch strips. Bring a heavy small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the peels and cook for 1 minute. Drain and then rinse the peels under cold water. Repeat cooking the peels, 2 more times, in the saucepan with fresh boiling water and rinsing under cold water. In the same pan combine the peels with 1 cup of simple syrup. Simmer over medium-low heat until the peels are soft, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the peels to parchment paper to dry slightly, about 1 hour.
Yield:2 1/2 cups
Using an electric mixer, whip the cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and the vanilla and beat to combine. Transfer the whipped cream to a serving bowl. (The whipped cream can be made up to 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)