Mommy Perfect brings you the perfect sweet iced tea for hot summer days, or any time of year, and Gidget tells about the first time she ever tried iced tea.
Sweet iced tea is a Southern thing and I am from up North where tea is drunk hot, in fact I had never heard of sweet iced tea when I was a kid growing up. I can remember the first time I had this thing called “sweet iced tea”; we were on a road trip driving down the east coast of the US, it was a sweltering hot summer, and our car didn’t have air conditioning. It was old fashioned kind of cooling where you rolled down the window.
I cannot recall precisely which state we were in, but I know we were in the “south” because the accent had become distinctly “southern” and the air was humid like you were wrapped in a blanket that you couldn’t shake off. We pulled off the highway to refuel both the car and our stomachs, but rather than opt for the same drive-thru burger chains, we ventured our luck on a cute looking diner with a sign that indicated southern cooking. I was unfamiliar with what southern cooking would be — images of My Cousin Vinny poking at his pile of grits came to mind (“What is a grit anyways?”) — but road trips are about adventure so we gave it a try.
As we approached the front door I recall seeing a sign promoting their “Homemade Sweet Iced Tea” — again something I didn’t know people drank. The meal couldn’t have been spectacular because I don’t remember what I had, but the sweet tea was delicious and so refreshing, I was a fan immediately. I remember wondering why had I never had this drink before.
Related: Retro Summer Break
Now that I’m married and have kids, sweet iced tea has become a staple in our home, especially in the summer. Having experimented with countless batches, I’ve found that mixing in lemon juice really balances the flavors — its the only way we drink it now. Some people may call this an Arnold Palmer (after the golfer), which is 1/3rd lemonade and 2/3rd sweet iced tea, but in my house we just call it iced tea because its the only way we like it. I make it reduced calorie with 1/3rd Splenda, but if you are averse to artificial sweeteners you can use all sugar.
I hope you enjoy!
- 2 quarts filtered water
- 3 tea bags, black
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup grandulated Splenda
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- Boil water in a large pot. Remove from heat.
- Add tea bags, sugar, and Splenda. Steep 1 hour.
- Remove tea bags.
- Add lemon juice.
- Put in a pitcher and chill.