Thursday, May 22, 2014

Best Ever Southern Sweet Tea

I usually try not to advertise that I was born on the wrong side of the Dixie line, but no matter how hard I try, my love of sweet tea gives me away time and time again. Where I come from (there's cornbread and chicken) you can find a church dinner every weekend, and I can guarantee there will be two gigantic drink tanks--one for sweet tea and one for "unsweet" tea. (The fact that "unsweet" is a fully acceptable word tells you how close I live to West Virginia.) "Unsweet" tea is utterly repulsive but is the standard beverage order for all your diabetics and dieters. Sweet tea is the best beverage ever. Well, except for chocolate milk and maybe this. Today I'm going to show you how to make a perfect pitcher of southern sweet tea.


First, find some tea. I buy cheap tea because if I bought expensive tea I'd go bankrupt in about a week and a half. I also buy caffeine-free tea because I'd rather not be mistaken for the Energizer bunny. You can get whatever kind of tea you like, but good ol' Lipton is pretty standard.


Next thing you do is boil four cups of water.


While your water is boiling, take twelve teabags out of their pouch. I like to destring my teabags, too, because somehow I think the ink on the tea tag is going to poison me, despite the fact that I chewed on notebook paper when I was a kid. This is a completely unnecessary step for the sane.


When your water is boiling, take it off the heat, add a pinch of baking soda (the secret ingredient--and yes, just a pinch), and toss in your teabags. Cover the pan and let it sit for 20 minutes.


When your timer goes off, fish out your teabags, pour your uber-strong tea into a one-gallon pitcher and add your sweetener. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sugar, but that's waaaaaay a lot. Start with one cup and work your way up or down from there. Once you're addicted you'll have to switch to zero-calorie sweetener to prevent yourself from becoming gargantuan; and believe me, you will be addicted.


Here's the sneaky bit: Because nobody can wait all day for an ice-cold glass of sweet tea, speed up the process by dumping a crapton of ice into the pitcher and swirling it around until it melts. Top off the rest with chilled water and serve immediately over ice or store in the fridge.


Now that you have your perfect pitcher of sweet tea, serve it up on your front porch and soak in the summer. Everybody will think you're a gen-u-ine Georgia peach, bless your heart.


I linked up with Eat Drink & Be Mary for Delicious Dish Tuesday and the Orchard Girls for What We Eat Wednesday. Go check them out!

12 comments:

  1. Interesting! What does the baking soda do? I read a little about the health benefits of drinking a little bit of baking soda, but does it also enhance the flavor? Texture?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The baking soda keeps the tea getting all cloudy and gross. I don't think it actually does anything to improve the flavor. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. Sweet tea is one of my faves!! My boyfriend makes great sweet tea on the stove as well, but I think he puts a little too much sugar. Thanks for sharing at DDT! This will be the perfect addition to any summer meal ( who am I kidding? This is perfect all year round!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too much sugar in tea? Sounds like a southern boy! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Yum! This is exactly how I make my tea!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello! I'm stopping by from the link up and can't wait to try this sweet tea. As a Tennessee girl, I LOVE the sweet tea and definitely have to limit myself from all the sugar intake :) Have a great weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll love it! Have a great weekend yourself!

      Delete
  5. YUM! I saw this and got excited. I love sweet tea! I totally featured you on this week's What We Eat Wednesday!! Please stop by again. :)

    Alexis ♥ Laugh. Eat. Learn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww! Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!

      Delete
  6. Candy corn M&Ms sounds like my literal worst nightmare. Stuff like this makes me just hate people! Who in marketing thought that that was a good idea?!

    ReplyDelete