Having been born and raised in the South, I’m asked quite often if girls from the South only drink sweet tea. Well, my first natural response is, “yes of course”. But then I know that wouldn’t be exactly true, because we drink many cool drinks of the leaded and unleaded varieties. >>smile<<
However, any Southern woman (whether she’s from South Georgia or South Texas) should certainly know how to make sweetened iced tea. So if you haven’t had a chance to learn, or have recently moved to the South and desperately need to learn, here’s your opportunity.
Six simple steps to making Southern sweet tea, just like my Mama still makes it…
For one gallon of sweet tea, you’ll need:
3 large tea bags, black tea (my favorite: Luzianne)
1 cup pure white sugar
1 medium saucepan, with lid
Gallon glass pitcher (because tea is always prettier when you can see it!)
Lemon slices (or lime, if you live here in South Texas… go figure)
- Boil 4 cups of water in medium saucepan.
- Once boiling, add 3 large tea bags. Tie the strings of the tea bags together, so you don’t lose them in the hot water. Cover and remove from heat.
- Allow the mixture to sit and “marinate”, as Mama says, for about an hour but no longer than four.
- In a gallon glass pitcher, add 1 cup of pure white sugar (or substitute Splenda, if you must) and fill the pitcher 1/4 full with cold water.
- Pour the “marinated” tea mixture into the pitcher. Save the tea bags and rinse them with cool water in the saucepan, and add the remaining tea flavor to the pitcher (repeat several times), until the gallon pitcher is full.
- Stir well and enjoy over ice with a slice of lemon, of course!
Tip: Mama says if your water isn’t filtered, sometimes sweet tea can become bitter and cloudy (and no Southern woman worth her weight serves cloudy tea). To avoid this, just add just a pinch of baking soda to the tea in the beginning and mix it well.
Let me know when you try it — come back and tell me just how addicted you’ve become to sweet tea, my friends. Until then, pour me another…