Sweet Southern Ice Tea
This is for all of you Southern wanna bes. Every Tuesday I will be writing a piece on our Southern culture. Being Southern is all about our traditions. And for me, it all starts with my Gramma’s Sweet Ice Tea. As far back as I can remember, my Gramma always made her Sweet Iced Tea. It was like sipping sunshine on a cloudy day. Here is my version of my Gramma’s tea.
A true Southerner – in my opinion – owns a tea kettle. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but if it whistles, well that is good enough. Fill that kettle with water and set it on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, slice up a couple of Louisiana Sweets and place them in a GLASS pitcher. Do not use plastic. I wouldn’t use a really expensive glass pitcher either. I did this and cracked my favorite crystal pitcher. It’s great to display freshly cut flowers in, but not tea. After the tea is made and slightly cooled, then you may transfer it to a pretty pitcher for serving. Remember, it’s all about presentation too. We Southern Ladies love our “pretty”.
|Kettle, 2 Community tea bags, 2 oranges, pitcher (and a clothespin)|
|Ready for the tea bags and water.|
Once the water is boiling (the tea kettle whistling), pour the hot water over the oranges and the tea bags. The hot water will draw the sweetness and flavor from the oranges. You may also add a few slices of lemon and sprigs of mint along with the orange slices.
|I can taste it already!|
Let the tea seep for about ten minutes. Then discard the tea bags and stir in one cup of granulated sugar. Do not, I repeat DO NOT!! use artificial sweeteners. That would be an absolute sin of the worst kind in the South. The whole idea of Sweet Tea darling, is the sweet. After you add the real sugar, then grab a pretty glass (remember – pretty) and fill it with ice and tea. Find yourself a veranda and have a party. Now, that’s what it’s like to be a Southerner!
|A glass of Sweet Ice Tea? Don’t mind if I do.|