Classic Southern-Style Iced Tea
There are as many ways to brew iced tea as there are Southern grandmothers. I grew up on iced tea made by bringing a small amount of water to a slow boil and then pouring it over the tea bags to form a concentrate. More water was added to finish the process. I guess I'm biased toward this method, but it definitely does make good tea.
6 regular-size tea bags (You can use Orange Pekoe, Oolong, green tea, Lipton -- pick your favorite.)
2 cups boiling water
6 cups cold water
Granulated sugar or other sweetener to taste (optional)
1. In a glass measuring cup or ceramic teapot large enough to accommodate the boiling water, place the tea bags. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
2. Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing the bags will add bitterness)
3. Pour the concentrate into a two-quart pitcher and add the cold water. Sweeten, if desired. (Some Southerners put in as much as 1 1/2 cups of sugar)
4. Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.
Makes two quarts
*Tea will become cloudy if refrigerated while still warm. Add a little boiling water to clear up the cloudiness.
Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea
1 (16-oz.) package frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups water
3 family-size tea bags
3/4 cup sugar
Bring 1 (16-oz.) package frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard solids. Wipe saucepan clean.Bring 4 cups water to a boil in same saucepan; add 3 family-size tea bags, and let stand 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and blueberry juice mixture. Pour into a pitcher; cover and chill 1 hour. Serve over ice.
Southern Living, JULY 2007
3 (11.5-ounce) cans peach nectar
2 quarts brewed tea1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Stir together all ingredients; chill until ready to serve.
Curtis Aikens, Southern Living, AUGUST 2002
8 mint leaves
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 cup bourbon
3 cups cold sweetened tea
Cubed or crushed ice
Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher, pressing with spoon to crush mint. Stir in bourbon and tea. Add ice.
Coastal Living, MAY 2002
*One more little tidbit of knowledge I found on the Internet...The only tea grown in America is found about 20 miles south of Charleston on Wadmalaw Island at the Charleston Tea Plantation, now owned by Bigelow.