(American Southern summer tea drink)
Sweet tea is basically your regular iced tea, but brewed with a whole lot of sugar and often a squeeze of lemon. This easy, cheap beverage is very popular in the Southern United States during the hot, humid summer months.When you ask for a tea in the South, people often assume you mean sweet tea.
Makes 2 quarts
- Water -- 2 quarts
- Sugar -- 1 1/2 cups
- Tea bags -- 5 or 6
- Add the water and sugar to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium flame, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for about 1 or 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Cover the pan with a lid and set aside to steep for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a large pitcher. Set in the refrigerator and serve when well chilled in canning jars.
Sweet Tea Variations
- Many Southern sweet tea makers would add much more sugar than called for here. Make it to your taste. But use any less and you're surely a Yankee.
- Some recipes say to boil with only half the water at first. After the tea has steeped add another quart of cold water and pour into the pitcher.
- Add the juice of 2 lemons to the hot sugar water for even better flavor. If you like, peel the rind off the lemons before squeezing and add it too.
- Add some mint leaves to the brewing tea for an extra refreshing beverage. Strain from the tea before chilling.
- Black tea is used most often, but green tea works well too.
- Sweet tea is best drunk the same day it is made. After that it gets pretty stale.