Although I may not be from the south originally, there is one thing about it I have always loved. Sweet tea! Most restaurants in California don't offer it (peach tea? Yes! Raspberry? Of course! Organically grown, hand picked orange pekoe? Absolutely!) but my mom occasionally made it for us.
Once Chris and I were married, I started making this tea all the time. His best friend would come over and head straight for the fridge claiming I made the best tea he ever had. I don't do anything special with the ingredients, but it's more the way you prepare them.
Here are my secrets to great sweet tea.
Sweet Southern Tea
Source: Jenna Blogs
1 gallon of water
2 decaf tea bags; I use Great Value or Luzianne brand (the large brewing teabags. DO NOT buy cold brew!)
1 cup of sugar
1 gallon pitcher
Fill a 4 qt saucepan with water. COVER the pan and put it over a burner turned on to high.
Once the water just begins to boil, turn the burner off, throw the tea bags in, push them gently into the water, just to make sure all sides get wet, re-cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Do not open the lid!
Add 1 cup of sugar to a one gallon pitcher. Once tea is steeped, add it to the sugar and mix. Add cold water until the pitcher is full.
Add mint or lemon slices if desired.
Note: The pitcher that I usually use is just a large plastic one from Wal-Mart, not the fancy glass one in the picture above. The plastic one is probably 2 gallons, and I only use 1.5 cups of sugar, not 2.