To wrap up the July Summer BBQ & Road Trip series, I am finally bringing you the Sweet Tea Sweetie Summer Sweet Tea recipe! If you’ve never had it before, pull up a rocking chair, top your glass off and sit a spell!
3 Tea bags
3/4 Cups of Sugar
- Boil water.
- Place 3 tea bags in a quart heat proof measuring cup.
- Pour boiling water over tea bags.
- Let tea steep until the tea is so dark that you can’t see through it.
- Pour tea into a heat proof serving pitcher. Leave tea bags in the measuring cup.
- Add 3/4 cup of sugar. Stir well.
- Pour more boiling water over the original tea bags in the measuring cup. It will not get as dark this time.
- Add tea to serving pitcher and stir.
- Place in refrigerator until chilled.
- Serve over lots of ice!
The oldest known recipe for sweet iced tea was published in 1879 in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia by Marion Cabell Tyree. It became ubiquitous through out the South where days are long and always hot during the summer. There are a number of ways to make sweet tea. Growing up in Virginia, Texas, and California gave me a wide variety of teas to try. If you order a tea in the South, its going to come filled to the brim with ice and very sweet. If you order a tea on the West Coast, not so much. The widespread globalization of chains such as Dickies BBQ and Chick-fil-A has led to more and more people having the chance to get sweet tea, but not all sweet tea is created equal! Check back later for a ranking of restaurant sweet teas. If anyone is trying sweet tea for the first time, let me know what you think!!!!
Funny story from Southern Living about sweet tea:
True story. An Alabama teenager settled in at a restaurant in Vermont. When the waitress appeared, he asked for sweet iced tea. She promptly brought him a glass of ice, a cup of hot tea, and sugar. One sip of the concoction and he reacted, well, as most teenage boys do when they taste something unpalatable. (You get the picture.) While mopping the table, the mother explained the difference in Southern sweet tea and tea that you get, um, elsewhere. In other words, never order sweet tea unless you’re in a state where barbecue restaurants are plentiful and easily found. The teenager’s response? “Mama, take me home!” he wailed, echoing the sentiments of many misplaced Southerners. Besides fussing with the Yankees when they claim the tea’s too sweet, Southerners still have battles to wage among themselves. Whose sweet tea is best? Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea from Birmingham? Or tea from Pal’s, a famous burger stand in East Tennessee? Every Southerner can argue that the best iced tea is found at their favorite local spot. Of course, you can always end the debate in a civil way with an unarguable, politically correct answer to where the best iced tea is found: “My mama’s.”