Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweet Tea - The House Wine of the South

June is National Iced Tea Month.   Southerners love iced tea and drink it by the gallon every month! We even like it in a Mason jar. It was Dolly Parton in the movie, Steel Magnolias, that called Southern sweet tea, "the house wine of the South". There was never a truer statement. Talk about the South and sooner or later sweet tea comes to mind. Southerners love this sweet liquid and Southern girls are taught to make it by their Southern mamas. In the South, sweet tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it before you can walk. Sweet tea makes Southerners think of home, tradition, picnics and hot afternoons "sippin" sweet tea while "swayin" in the swing on the front porch. Southern girls know you can't be considered a serious Southern belle unless you know how to make sweet tea.

There are lots of ways to make sweet tea but it has to have sugar. In many cases, the more sugar the better and I prefer to use Luzianne tea.

4 family sized tea bags
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
3 quarts water
Bring the water to a boil. Remove from stove and add sugar so it will dissolve in the hot water. Add tea bags and let steep about 30 minutes. Pour in enough water and ice to make a gallon of tea.
(I like a couple sprigs of mint in my iced tea, too)
Some people add a pinch of baking soda. This is supposed to keep the tea from becoming cloudy. Enjoy!

I think John Egerton said it best when he said: “Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths”.

Celebrate National Iced Tea Month with some "sweet" Southern tea!

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