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Southern Sweet Tea

Summer weather has finally arrived and though we’re still technically in Spring for nearly two more weeks, it’s hot and you deserve a refreshing beverage. The hardest thing about iced tea is that you need to think ahead, as it needs to cool in the fridge for 4 hours before being enjoyed. Future you will thank current you for investing in drinks for the future.

The cool trick to this recipe is that you brew the tea in one quarter of the water needed. Then you add cool water to the hot brew, thereby making the cooling down process much quicker! Why wait for 12 cups of hot tea to cool when you can brew 3 really strong cups and then cool it down with the other 9?

Can’t drink caffeine in the afternoon/evening? Just make it with decaffeinated tea. Looking for something a little extra special? Try making this bourbon sweet tea cocktail. Don’t have a pitcher big enough to fit 12-16 cups of tea? Me either, just use mason jars.

What I learned about sweet tea from the internet: it’s traditionally a southern US drink, it’s basically black tea and sugar, but is sometimes flavoured with lemon, raspberry, or mint, and it tends to be quite sweet; having more sugar than Coke in some cases. This recipe for sweet tea isn’t overly sweet, I think it has just the right amount of sweetness to cut the slightly bitter taste of black tea.

Essentially you can make this recipe as big or as small as you’d like. For every 1 cup of water, you’ll need one tea bag, and 1 Tbsp sugar. Remember that there is 4 Tbsp in ¼ cup. 16 cups of tea, 16 tea bags, 1 cup of sugar. etc

Southern Sweet Tea

For 12 cups of tea

3 cups near boiling water

12 bags of tea, or enough loose leaf for 12 cups

¾ cup sugar

9 cups cool water

Ice & Lemon to serve

Steep 12 tea bags in 3 cups of nearly boiling water for 5 minutes (I like to use a French press for this as it’s easier to drain and get out every last drop of the hot liquid). Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Strain the hot, sweet tea into a container larger enough to hold 12 cups of liquid, or divide into 3-4 smaller (mason jars?) containers. Glass is best for this. Then add 9 cups of cool water, dividing equally among the containers if using more than one. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve chilled, over ice with a squeeze of lemon juice.

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