A few weeks ago, a friend contacted me for my "Southern Sweet Tea" recipe. And I didn't want to give it out for a few different reasons. One: She's not Southern; Two: It's mine; Three: How can I trust her to not ruin it seeing as she's not Southern, and is not me?; Four: She doesn't live in the South... the list goes on.
But after much internal debate, I decided that she was worthy of the recipe, just as she was worthy of the role she stole from me earlier this year. Don't worry, I'm not holding a grudge. I got something much better out of that scenario. But after the decision was made to give her this recipe, I was left at a crossroads as to how to share it. I was not sending it through Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg and his cronies are not allowed to have this amazing goodness. And being that it's a Southern Sweet Tea recipe, typing it out seemed a bit sacrilegious. So I decided to write it out.
And, as is wont to happen when I am asked to dip back into my southern knowledge and experiences, I got a little more sassy, a little more confident, and a little more, well... southern. It's a fun recipe just for the way that I wrote it out. And because my friend succeeded in making it, (I know this because she said that everyone loved it, and THEY HAD BETTER!) I thought it might be a nice gesture to share it with all of you. Regardless of the fact of where you're from or what you do.
So without any further ado, here is my Southern Sweet Tea recipe. Use it well, use it wisely, and for god's sake don't add alcohol to it! There's enough sugar to go around.
London's Sassy Southern Sweet Tea
- 12 regular tea bags
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 lemons (1 for juicing, the rest for slicing and serving)
- large stock pot (holds at least a gallon)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 gallon water
- 1 gallon pitcher
- Ice (this is ICED TEA after all)
- Southern Sweetness
- Southern Sass
- 1 big helping of Southern Hospitality (see Southern Sweetness & Sass)
Get that pot filled up with some of that water, we're talking the WHOLE GALLON & make it PIPING HOT on the stove. We're talking a rolling boil. Add those dozen tea bags - don't be shy! Just make sure to remove those paper tags and strings, ain't nobody wanna drink that. Boil for awhile until the color looks more like coffee than tea. It's scary, go with it.
Fish out those pesky tea bags using a spoon or whatever utensil you have handy, once the tea is dark and strong. DON'T BE A FOOL AND USE YOUR HANDS! Use that common sense your moma gave you! Did anyone tell you to stop boiling that pot? No, no they didn't. Keep it going. Add that cup of sugar and stir until it's gone. Now if you're worried about diabetes or something of the like, you can use less than a cup, but no less than 2/3 cup - this is SWEET TEA!
Slice one of those lemons in half and squeeze out all that sweet & sour juice into the pot. Try keep the seeds out of it, it's a pain to fish them out. That being said, if you do let a few fall, fish 'em out now.
Remove the pot for all that hear. She's sexy enough. Let her sit for a bit and cool enough so she doesn't destroy your pitcher. After she's cooled a bit, pour that sweet and sassy concoction into the pitcher.
Due to all that boiling, she's not gonna be a full gallon of tea. Don't worry we're gonna remedy that. Fill the rest of the pitcher with plain ol' water. It'll dilute the strongness of the tea, and give you a full gallon. Plus, if you use cold water, it cools down the tea. Add that teaspoon of baking soda and stir. I know it seems a little ridiculous, but it keeps the tea from getting cloudy. If you don't want to use it, that's fine, but don't complain about cloudy tea!
Chill that pitcher down! NO ONE WANTS HOT ICED TEA!!
(Stick it in the fridge for a few hours. It should be good then.)
Slice up the other lemons into wedges or wheels, or however you like your lemons. Fill those glasses with ice, and serve that Southern Sweet Tea with a lemon, smile, and some good friends on a porch somewhere.
London Griffith is an Alaskan born, Montana raised, Southern influenced, New York Actress. She occasionally writes about her life and experiences of being on the verge ...