Friday, August 3, 2012

Perfect Southern Sweet Tea

So one of the things that irks me the most when I go to restaurants is having to sweeten my own tea!  I mean c'mon!  The worse thing is putting ten packs of sugar in a cold glass of unsweetened tea and stirring...and stirring...and stirring.  And then stirring.  The sugar will not melt no matter how hard you stir.  Now that I'm living on the East Coast, you can't find presweetened tea anywhere and the restaurants that do offer sweet tea have the tea that comes out of a can.  Blasphemy!  So, needless to say, I drink only water at restaurants now, but I still miss my sweet tea.

Now I've been making sweet tea at home for a long time.  My mother used to make it by steeping the tea bags in a glass pitcher in the sun.  That method can take a while and who wants to wait on sweet tea?  I on the other hand prefer to steep my tea bags in a pot.  It's quicker and I think I've come up with the best I've ever had!

Try this recipe.  It comes out perfect every time!

Southern Sweet Tea


8 tea bags brand of your choice (I use Lipton)
12 cups of water
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar

Fill a large pot with 12 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat but leave the pot on the burner.  Add your 8 tea bags and swoosh them around just to get them to start spewing their goodness.  Cover the pot and time for 3 minutes exactly.  While the tea bags are steeping, in a smaller pot add the extra cup of water.  Bring to a boil and add the 1 cup of sugar.  Reduce to a simmer and stir, allowing the sugar to dissolve completely.  Dissolving equal cups of water and sugar is called making a simple syrup.  When your timer goes off, remove the tea bags from the pot, but make sure to squeeze any liquid out of them.  You wouldn't want to lose any of that goodness.  Pour your tea into a pitcher and then add the simple sugar mixture.  Stir and chill.  Now the tea will be hot so if you immediately pour your tea over ice it will melt the ice and dilute the flavor.  It's best to pour cold tea over ice.  The flavor will dilute less.  Or if you can't wait like me, always have some tea ice cubes in the freezer so then you can pour your tea over tea ice cubes and the dilution won't make a difference in the flavor.  But trust me, if you allow the tea to chill you will have a better tea experience. 



1 comment:

  1. Your way on tea reminds me of the sensation I get when biting into a York Peppermint Patty, man does that sound good!