I was asked a few weeks ago for a recipe for sweet tea on the Facebook page (yep, I’m talking about you, Brittany). I was kinda shocked by this.
I thought only Southerners liked sweet tea. And since every Southerner knows how to make sweet tea, surely no one would want or need a recipe.
Brittany how I make mine and didn't think much else about it.
Then I had a life-altering experience in T.J. Maxx.
And now I feel somehow obligated to post a recipe that people either don’t need or don’t want.
So, I left the onions with my ninja yesterday to quickly run over to Mom’s to pick up some outdoor cushions she’d bought for me.
Long story short: the cushions didn’t work out for what I needed so I was going to run and exchange them (which I felt skeezy about doing since I’d told my ninja I would only be gone a quick minute so I was moving at lightning speed) but then the store didn’t have what I needed and I had a marathon shopping event hitting three stores in 20 minutes. And by the time I was done at T.J Maxx I was parched! Like, escaped desert convict parched.
I did a little touchdown dance when I saw they had one of those drink coolers near the register. Note that I never, ever buy these drinks but you have no idea just how thirsty I was. There were three choices: soda, water or lemon tea. Since I’m not a big soda drinker and I can’t seem to will myself to spend $1.89 on water, I grabbed the tea thinking, “how bad could it be?”
I whipped the top off at the register, took a long haul from it and shouted at the cashier, “JESUS CHRIST, THAT’S AWFUL!!!!!” Sorry again, Lord, for the tone.
No wonder the rest of the world doesn't like sweet tea! If that’s what y’all are drinking, thinking it’s what we Southerners swear by, we need to talk!
So, now for the recipe that you either don’t need or don’t want:
Southern Brewed Sweet Tea
1 gallon water, divided
4 family sized or 8 regular sized tea bags*
1 ½ cups sugar**
Fill a pot with 2 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep tea for 1-2 hours. Remove tea bags.
Add tea and sugar to a gallon sized pitcher and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add remaining 2 quarts of water and stir well.
Refrigerate until cold before serving. Serve with lemon if you have it!
*I like Luzianne or Lipton but if you can’t find those use any orange pekoe / black tea blend. And don’t try to jazz it up by using green tea or some wonky blend.
**I only use 1 cup but most folks like it sweeter. I think what you get in the restaurants is probably closer to 2 cups. Just play with it until you get it where you want it.
UPDATE: Ninja Barb just weighed in below in the comments and reminded me about the Onions! When I finally did get home they looked at the bottle in my hand and wanted to know what it was (prolly because it looked like a soda bottle and they rarely get soda). I told them it was tea but not like they're used to.
Since they're kids, they HAD to have some so I poured them each a shot in a juice glass. They both took a swig. Angel Baby grimaced like I'd just given her a shot of bourbon, shuddered a few times and spit it out. Brutus swallowed his but started making this throat clearing sound in his mouth. Then later at supper he took one look at his glass and asked, "Mama, is this that lemon stuff you made me drink or the regular tea?"
LOL... the apples don't fall far from the tree :)