The other day, my dear friend Susan sent me a message letting me know she had a bone to pick with me and it wasn’t a ‘chicken bone’. She was on my blog and looking for my Sweet Tea recipe and none was to be found! Now, think about this. My blog is ‘Sweet Tea with Lemon”, for a reason. Well, unbeknownst to me, I don’t have a Sweet Tea recipe posted! I must have chuckled about that for days. (still chuckling about it… ) There is a reason I named my blog Sweet Tea with Lemon… It’s my one true favorite drink in the whole world. You can take away my chocolate but don’t take away my tea!! With lemon, of course. It’s just not complete without the lemon.
So, I marched into the kitchen and made my usual gallon of tea, with pictures of course.
I have used many different brands of tea, but what I’m posting here is my personal favorite. Lipton Iced Tea. I get those gallon size tea bags at one of those big warehouse stores for convenience and the flavor and tea strength is consistent every time.
Here’s how I make it.
Sweet Tea (with Lemon)
In a large pot over high heat, add 6 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil, then turn off the burner.
Add the Lipton Iced Tea gallon size tea bag. See how big it is?? That is one monster of a tea bag. Swirl it around a bit before you let go of it in there. That adds a little bite to the tea… Not… It’s just something I do without any justification.
With a spoon, gently move the tea bag around to make sure it’s saturated with water. Don’t poke at the tea bag or it will tear. (Speaking from experience here) Just ever so gently move it around for a few seconds.
Walk away and let it seep for 15, 20, 25 minutes or so. If truth be known, I’ve walked away and forget about it for 30 or more minutes. Now, for those true tea enthusiast that make tea using an exact temperature of water and you time the seeping to 3 minutes and 28.4 seconds with no stirring allowed, this won’t be for you. I usually have 16 things going on at the same time and just getting my sweet tea made to satisfy my tea addiction is an accomplishment! Ok, maybe not 16 things, but you get my drift.
Carefully remove the giant tea bag and gently squeeze out the excess water back into the pot. If it’s too hot to touch, use a pair of tongs to squeeze that giant baby. Again, just be gentle or it will tear.
In a one gallon pitcher, add 1 1/2 cups sugar.
Interestingly enough, I learned something this past weekend about sweet tea. Here in North Carolina I have well water, filtered through my house of course. Well, depending on where you live and the type of water you have, you may need to adjust the sugar amount. For instance, my friend Tammy lives in Florida and she uses 1 1/3 cup because more is too sweet, yet when she is here drinking my tea, she says it’s the same taste. Go figure, it’s in the water…
Pour in the warm tea and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Fill the gallon pitcher the rest of the way with cold water.
A note here… Usually when I’m making a fresh gallon of tea, that means I’m out and am in NEED of my sweet tea with lemon fix. After I pour in the warm tea and mix with the sugar, it’s not unusual for me to add a bunch of ice to cool it down faster. Then finish filling up the pitcher with cold water. That way it doesn’t melt the ice in my glass so fast and water down my delicious tea! Just saying…
When serving, fill a tall glass about 1/2-3/4 full with ice, squeeze a good size wedge of lemon over that ice and pour in the tea.
Then I take this glass of tea out on my front porch in the Summer time where there’s always a nice breeze blowing, sit in a comfy chair and sip. Oh how I love my Sweet Tea with Lemon!
And there you have it my dear Susan. That’s how I make my Sweet Tea with Lemon!
Here is the printer friendly recipe.