Friday, May 29, 2009

Sweet Tea


When I was just a couple of months old, I couldn't keep any milk or formula down, and for the week or two it took for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with me, my mom gave me sweet tea in my baby bottle. I basically survived on the sugar in it until the diagnosis was made and surgery performed.

I've had sweet tea almost every day of my life since then. I love it! Hot or cold, it doesn't matter. Iced tea in the winter and hot tea in the summer, it doesn't matter. It just needs to be strong and sweet.

Here are two ways I make my sweet tea. I prefer the first method because I think a better flavor comes from loose tea. Either can have the lemon or raspberry variations, if desired and if your husband doesn't mind (unfortunately, mine does). I suppose you could make these less strong, or without sugar. But why?


Sweet Tea #1

Makes approx. 3 quarts

3 quarts water
2 level tablespoons loose leaf tea (I prefer Lipton for my every day tea drinking)
3/4 cup sugar

Put water and tea leaves in a clean, grease-free pot (I have an enamel-wear pot dedicated to tea making). Bring to a boil.

As soon as water and tea reach a boil, remove from heat and let tea steep for 10 minutes.

Strain (I use a coffee filter in a colander/strainer) into pitcher and stir in sugar.

Refrigerate after tea has cooled to room temperature.



Sweet Tea #2

Makes approx. 3 quarts

3 quarts water
4 regular (1-cup) tea bags
3/4 cup sugar

Put water and tea bags in a clean, grease-free pot (I have an enamel-wear pot dedicated to tea making). Bring to a boil.

As soon as water and tea reach a boil, remove from heat and let tea steep for 10 minutes.

Remove tea bags, squeezing the tea from them as you do. Pour tea into pitcher and stir in sugar.

Refrigerate after tea has cooled to room temperature.



Lemon or Raspberry Variation


To either recipe, add 1/2 teaspoon of unsweetened lemonade or raspberry drink mix (i.e., Kool-Aid or Wyler's) along with the sugar. This will make the tea taste a lot like the Lipton Iced Tea you can buy in a jar, but it's a lot less expensive.

6 comments:

Jessica said...

I am addicted to sweet tea. Drank it all the time growing up in GA. It's harder to find now that I'm living up north. It try to make do with McDonald's sometimes, but the tea flavor is very weak. It's sweet, but just not strong enough.

Great post, I can read about sweet tea all day!

SonyaAnn said...

Yay, I'm clapping. I had no idea about the kool-aid. Loving you very much now. I swear I have tea in my veins! My MIL is from the the south and said the best compliment she can ever give me is that she loves my tea more than hers. You are going to make her soooo happy.

A.Marie said...

Oh gosh, I absolutely love sweet tea. My Grandma used to make it nice and mild (I don't like it too strong...I know, I am a weenie tea-drinker) and SWEET! Yum Yum!! She used to serve it in her beautiful gold-colored glass pitcher with matching glasses, or her green colored glass one. I have her green colored pitcher, and I am looking at it right now, in my china cabniet, thinking, "Yummy, I could go make some tea!" :)

Annie Jones said...

Jessica: Thanks for stopping by and following! I don't like McD's tea, but they do make a pretty good Coke. It's different than anywhere else for some reason.

SonyaAnn: I pink puffy heart you too! ;) Hope you and your MIL like the tea.

Annie Jones said...

A.Marie: My grandma made good tea, too. She always added a cup or so of it to her fruit punch as well. I can remember having to crack ice from those awful metal ice trays that never quite worked. There's something kind of scary about a grandma-lady with an ice pick in her hand. LOL!

Tug said...

My dad and his family are from Alabama...'nuf said. He and my daughter LOVE sweet tea! He also likes it mixed 1/2 & 1/2 with lemonade - calls it swamp water.

I like unsweetened and STRONG. ;-)