For Kristine’s birthday, I had a small dinner party for her with some friends, and she gave me free reign over the menu (her only demand was for dessert – Milk Chocolate Pretzel Tart). I tried to go with a bit of a Southern theme, but without really getting into chicken fried steak territory. Since it’s a pretty good rule not to make anything for the first time when having a dinner party, I stuck with some things I’ve made before (Slowcooker Shredded Buffalo Chicken, a big green salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing), plus Mac & Cheese for my favourite vegetarian (Alexis), and some honey corn muffins with honey butter (recipe from Baked Explorations).
But what I need to share with you today is the thing I was most excited about. Sweet Tea! First of all, this is not for everyone. If you’re used to drinking Nestea from a bottle, or iced tea from a powdered mix (I don’t judge, this is what we drank growing up), you might not get on board with this beverage. This is real brewed tea, sweetened with sugar, and chilled. This is what you usually get in the States when you ask for iced tea. I know in Florida it always comes unsweetened, but apparently up in the traditional southern states (Georgia? Tennessee? the Carolinas?) it always comes sweetened.
When I was in Calgary last month and we had lunch at Country Cousins, there were big pitchers of Sweet Tea going around the restaurant. I must have had 5 glasses of it, it was so good. My love for Sweet Tea was promptly renewed and I Googled my face off when I got home to find out how to make it. (Yes, I know, I probably could have just figured it out through trial and error, but I wanted to get the proportions of everything right.) This recipe from allrecipes.com was perfect, but maybe a little too sweet, so I would knock down the sugar next time. Serve with lots of ice and slices of lemon, and pretend you’re on a porch in Savannah!
1 pinch baking soda
2 cups boiling water
6 tea bags
3/4 cup sugar (I would dial this down to 1/2 cup next time)
6 cups cool water
- Sprinkle baking soda into a heat-proof measuring up, that goes up to 2 cups.
- Pour in boiling water, add tea bags, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and stir in sugar until dissolved.
- Pour cool water into a big pitcher, then add tea. Stir and chill. Amazing!