Thursday, June 10, 2010

America's Favorite Iced Tea Recipe!

Good Livin' Means Good Iced Tea!

The majority of Americans have no idea that June is National Iced Tea Month. And no, it ain’t just for us Southerners. Down here, we pay tribute 365 days a year. We know how to enjoy the little things in life; iced tea being one of ‘em. On June 10th, ya’ll get a chance to celebrate National Iced Tea Day with the rest of the country. We’re glad you joined us, because we’re gonna set ya’ll up real nice with America’s Favorite Iced Tea Recipe.

All ya’ll up above the ole Mason-Dixon enjoy iced tea as much as we do. But, we all know Southerners are the seasoned pros. In the South, making great iced tea is a simple thing. If you can boil water and follow a few instructions, you can do it. That’s why we all like it!

Iced tea is a glorious thing. Keep it unsweetened and add your dash of Splenda if you’d like, or buckle down and really get serious by making it a good ole fashioned sweet tea. First, let’s go over some tips for all you newbies to save ya’ll from somehow messing up a perfectly good pitcher of tea! Then ya'll can figure out for yourselves if you can handle our sweetness!

TIPS for Perfect Iced Tea:
* Use a glass or glazed pitcher that can withstand boiling water.
    Ø  No plastic or metal containers if you can help it because that’ll mess up the taste.

* Use only orange pekoe. Brands like Lipton and Luzianne are perfect.
    Ø  Why orange pekoe? Because it’s an extremely healthy alternative to green tea. Health benefits of orange pekoe: helps fight cancer, helps clogged arteries, fights respiratory diseases, helps with inflammation, and helps treat diseases.

* Add a pinch of baking soda (about ¼ teaspoon); it won’t change the taste, darkens the tea, and helps take out any bitterness you newbies may complain about.

* CHILL your tea before you serve it. Don’t dilute the tea by adding ice cubes to hot, warm, or room temperature tea.

* Add fresh slices of lemons to enhance the fresh flavor and taste of your tea. Not just to your individual glass, but also to the entire pitcher. If you need more of a reason: it looks purty too!

* Iced Tea is best the first day, maybe the second day too. After that, pour it out and make yourself a fresh pitcher!

Now that ya’ll are prepped and ready to boil water and throw in some tea bags, let’s get to it.

America’s Favorite Iced Tea Recipe:

Ingredients (for 1 quart)
1 Family size tea bag (Luzianne or Lipton is recommended)
3-4 Cups of water
¼ teaspoon or pinch of baking soda (optional)
1 Cup of sugar(optional)
Lemon Slices (optional)

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Throw in the tea bags and turn off the stove. Don’t boil the tea bags; just remove from the heat and let it steep. Steep for 5 – 15 minutes (depending on how strong you want it). Discard the tea bags before you pour the tea in the pitcher.

Now, I find pouring your 1 cup of sugar in the empty pitcher and then adding the warm tea makes more sense; but, you may not. Either way, add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved.

Now, there are 2 ways to fill the rest of your pitcher. You can add in 1-2 cups of cold water; or use less water and add more ice to your tea. Whichever you prefer, just remember too much water will dilute the tea.

Squeeze in some lemon slices (optional) and remember to refrigerate within 1 hour!

Wasn't that hard was it?  'Course not, we're easy-going here in the South. We like to keep it simple and fun!

Ya’ll enjoy yourselves and come on back now, ya hear!?

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