How To Make Homemade Sweet Tea
Those of you from the South may find this post a little funny because sweet tea is an everyday thing in much of the South and some of you were weaned on the stuff.
There is a whole generation of adults, though, who don’t know about sweet tea because sugar was put on the “bad food” list when they were growing up, but surprise, surprise it is once again ok to use sugar in our drinks. Yeahhhh!!!!
Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to buy sweet tea at the fast food restaurants and in the bottles. I cringe every time I see someone pay through the nose to buy sweet tea when it is so easy to make and costs only pennies for a pitcher full. Also many buy bottles of regular and green tea for the antioxidants. Be careful what you may not realize is that when tea sits it loses it’s antioxidants so making it fresh is best.
To help you save some money on what may be becoming your favorite drink or what might still be an old favorite, here is my recipe for homemade sweet tea.
Even though I am not officially a true Southerner, I will warn you I drink mine so sweet it will curl your hair. You can adjust the sugar if you want, but try it this way first and see what you think. Part of the secret to good iced tea is having the sugar properly dissolved. Just adding sugar to regular unsweetened cold tea doesn’t get it completely dissolved, but there’s an easy secret to this dilemma when making sweet tea.
Some people make a simple syrup to help dissolve the sugar, but you don’t have to go to all that trouble because this recipe makes it’s own simple syrup with the tea.
Homemade Sweet Tea
2 quarts water
3 regular size tea bags
3/4 cup sugar
Boil part of the water (about 3 cups). This doesn’t have to be precisely measured. Just estimate using enough so that when you pour it over the tea bags and sugar, it will cover them well.
While the water is boiling, place the tea bags and sugar into a 2 quart pitcher.
After the water boils, pour it over the tea bags and sugar. Cover and let it steep for at least 5 minutes if you are in a hurry. I let mine sit for 30 minutes or more (or until I remember that I made it ;-).
Then, gently stir it. You don’t want to break the tea bags.
Add more cold water up to the 2 quart line. Chill.
If I will be serving mine over ice, which is the way I love it, I will only add water to the 1 1/2 quart line instead of 2 quarts.
Of course, after you try it, you can adjust the sugar and water to your preference.
Sometimes I will use 2 regular flavored tea bags and one flavored tea bag (like peach or raspberry). This adds just the right amount of flavor to it. If you like lemon, toss in a slice!