by Jen L.
I hope that each of you, at some point in your life, has had a great glass of sweet tea. Now I know it's not everyone's cup of tea (haha, sorry, had to), but sometimes, it just hits the spot. Often called the Table Wine of the South, sweet tea is a southerner's mealtime staple. You can almost always find at least the remnants of a pitcher in our refrigerators, and the longer it sits, the sweeter it gets. My all-time favorite is my mom's sweet tea at two days old. It's strong enough to hold up and so sweet by that point that you could use it to top pancakes.
My husband likes his a tad less sweet, so he sometimes cuts the sugar in half. I say you only live once. Sweeten your tea.
A few years ago, a friend had never had sweet tea and was enamored with the idea. She wanted to watch me make it and was shocked to see that I don't just toss some sugar into some tea. We've probably all added sweetener to already-cold iced tea, only to watch, disappointed, as the granules sank to the bottom. Here's my secret to great sweet tea.
4 family-sized tea bags (I prefer Luzianne)
1 cup sugar
In a small saucepan, boil about 4 cups of water. Once boiling, remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover and allow to steep. I leave mine for about half an hour because I like very strong tea. In the meantime, fill another small saucepan 3/4 full of water. Bring to a boil. Stir in sugar, a bit at a time, making a simple syrup. Once tea is steeped, add syrup and tea to pitcher. Fill pitcher the rest of the way with water, until desired strength is achieved. Chill and serve over ice. (Or let it set in the fridge a few days!)