Sweet tea is the beverage of the South. Cold, sweet, and oh so good! Mmm! There’s nothing like it. When I was a kid, we drank tea all the time. I remember we had this big, circular jug with a red Tupperware-type top that had a lidded hole for pouring, and when my mama made tea, that’s what she put it in. That was a long time ago. That particular jug became a casualty of a house fire later on, but that’s not the point of this post.
I drank tea a lot when I was little, but when I got in the seventh grade, I had to take a health class. In that class, we learned how good water is for the body, and I decided to start drinking just water and milk. By then both my dad and step-mom were drinking primarily water, so I just joined them. And for years, water and milk are pretty much all I drank. Every now and then I would drink a coke or some juice if I couldn’t get water, but I no longer drank tea. Then about year and a half ago something happened: I started craving sweet tea. I hadn’t had tea since I was about 11 or 12 years old, but at 25, I wanted some. I couldn’t even remember how to make any. I bought some at McDonald’s because I had heard rave reviews of it, which turned out to be true, by the way, but I was still wanting some. So, I did what every tea-craving girl would do when she needed to learn how to make it: ask her tea drinking sisters. That’s exactly what I did, and ever since, I almost always have tea in the fridge. I do try to keep my intake of tea down to one glass-ful a day, especially now that I’m pregnant, but that one glass is welcomed every time. 😀
Now, you may not need a tea recipe, but for those of you who do need one, here is a simple, basic sweet tea recipe. It’s pretty hard to mess up making tea (but not impossible because I’ve done it before), and it’s mostly whatever suits your taste buds. This is just what I do, based on how my sisters told to make it and a few things I’ve just added from other ideas I’ve heard. So brew yourself up a glass, sit on the front porch swing, and watch the clouds roll in. May those clouds bring you some much needed rain!
- 4 family-size (large) tea bags (I use Lipton Iced Tea bags.)
- 2-3 cups water for brewing
- Just over 1 cup sugar, about 1 1/8 cups
- More water to make a gallon of tea
- In a medium metal saucepan (not tephlon), put water and tea bags.
- Boil on high for several minutes, until the tea bags are all puffy with air and the surface of the liquid is frothy. (The pan will be on the stove for about 5-8 minutes.)
- While the tea is boiling, put sugar in a gallon-size pitcher.
- Take tea off the stove, and pour liquid into the pitcher. Hold the tea bags back with a spoon.
- Fill the pitcher with water by running water over the tea bags in the pan and pouring into the pitcher. Do this repeatedly until the pitcher is full.
- Squeeze excess liquid from the tea bags into the pitcher and discard the tea bags.
- Stir the tea in the pitcher until the sugar is dissolved.
- Set in the fridge to cool the tea.*
- Serve cold.
*Note: If you are making the tea fresh, put a couple of trays of ice cubes into the pitcher before filling with water. This will cool the tea for serving immediately. The cubes will melt as you fill the pitcher up with water.