Confession time – I have a weakness for Southern belles and their alluring drawl. I was introduced to the Southern drawl around the age of 10 by the one and only Blanche Devereaux (played by Rue McClanahan) from the Golden Girls.
Maybe I have Blanche to thank for my love of all things Southern. With that logic, perhaps I love sweet tea because it reminds me of her or maybe I just love sweet tea because it’s sweet tea! Sweet tea is just that, it’s sweet and a way of life in the South. Southerners take their sweet tea very seriously and chances are if you ask ten Southerners how they make theirs, they’ll give you ten different answers all claiming theirs to be the best
As an added bonus, not only is sweet tea good, it’s also good for you as it’s loaded with antioxidants. Mary over at Deep South Dish whose blog reads like a testament to the South has a sweet tea recipe that I’m sure has been tried and tested more times than she can remember. In fact, browse her site for a while and you’ll be yearning for fried chicken, biscuits, pecan pie and a hundred other classic Southern dishes!
Now, when I’m enjoying a glass of sweet tea, for me, the sweeter the better. I enjoy a hurt-my-teeth-sugary-sweet tea. A person’s personal preference is like a snowflake, each one is unique. And for those that are curious, I still have never had a cavity. But insofar as making sweet tea at home, I just couldn’t justify putting in the recommended 1 3/4 cup of sugar knowing I was likely to be the one to drink all one gallon of it. So I went with the minimum that the recipe called for of 1 cup. But if I were to be entertaining, I’d definitely ramp up the sugar!
The sweet tea was as it should be. It was satisfying even on a cold winter day (is it summer yet?) up here in the North! I could sense it wasn’t as sweet as it could have been because I did hold back a bit, but it certainly did the trick and was refreshing.
Now, I just need a rocking chair, a porch to sit on and a Southern Belle to enjoy it with me.
Southern Sweet Tea (Southern Living – 1,001 Ways to Cook Southern)
- 6 cups of water
- 4 tea bags (I used ginger tea, but I think the fun is really in trying out all sorts until you find the perfect one for you)
- 1 to 1 3/4 cups of sugar
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing gently.
- Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Pour into a 1-gallon pitcher, and add enough water to fill pitcher. Serve over ice.
I used an orange for garnish because that’s what was available, but lemons, limes or sprig of mint are all wonderful as well