I am southern and I was raised on sugar sweetened iced tea. It’s a southern Eastern United States tradition. Iced tea is cheap and easy to make. It’s so cheap and easy that several gallons of it can be brewed at once. I drink so much of it that I keep a gallon in the refrigerator at all times and I usually go through it in a day or two. The amount of time it takes me to drink it usually depends on how much time I spend at home.
In most restaurants’ in the South they use way, way too much sugar. They use so much sugar that it’s almost like drinking syrup flavored with tea instead of sweetened tea. Usually when I order it at a restaurant I ask them to fill the glass half full with unsweetened iced tea and half with sweetened tea. Sometimes it will be served to strong and I have to add water to it.
This is the way I make sweetened iced tea and it seems to be very popular. I even know a certain Yankee who will come to visit just so he can have a few glasses. He moved recently and took the recipe with him but swears what he makes is no where near as good as mine.
This recipe makes 1 gallon of tea. You will use plain old ordinary black tea for this recipe. I generally use a generic grocery store brand.
6 family sized tea bags
1 gallon on water
1 cup of sugar
1 gallon sized container
You will start with 2 or 3 cups of from your gallon of water and put the 6 tea bags into it. Then stick it into the microwave for 6 minutes and then just leave it alone and let it sit for a while after the microwave goes off. I started doing this just because I was to lazy to take it out of the microwave right away, but this does seem to make a subtle difference in the flavor. When the steeping tea is slightly cool remove it from the microwave and pour it into a clean, gallon sized container. Then add your cup of sugar and stir. When all of the sugar is dissolved add the rest of your water and put the container in the refrigerator. Pour over ice when it’s cool. Don’t drink it before it’s cool because it will melt the ice to fast and become watered down.
Make sure you scrub out your tea container every time you make a fresh batch. Bacteria will grow in the old container that not only causes the tea to cloud but also makes it taste bitter.
Sometimes for something a little bit different during the summer time when I have loads of fresh mint to dispose of I will add a few sprigs to the water while the tea is brewing in the microwave. It adds a subtle minty flavor.
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