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The Secret of Perfect Ice Tea

Iced Tea is a refreshing beverage to serve in the summer regardless of where you live. I grew up in the Deep South where iced tea is served all year round. Making iced tea isn't difficult, but many people still regard it as a mystery and use powered mix or buy it pre-made, despite these tasting quite horrible.

In the South you usually buy your tea in one-quart family size bags rather than the one-cup small bags, but you may not be able to find these in other parts of the country. There are also special blends for ice tea that help prevent clouding, but you can still use regular orange pekoe tea and it will still taste just as good. When I can get it, my favorite brand is Luzianne but Lipton or Tetley are fine too.

My favorite method is easy and doesn't even require boiling water. These instructions are for a one gallon pitcher, so cut down if you use a smaller pitcher. Fill the pitcher with hot tap water, put in 3 quart size tea bags or 12 individual size bags. If you are in Canada, the small bags are usually stronger so cut this to 8 individual bags. While the water is still warm, add your sweetener so it can dissolve or leave it unsweetened if you prefer. Use one cup of sugar per gallon, or if you want it sweet without the calories use 13 one grain saccharine tablets. Stir until the sweetener is dissolved, then let it sit for an hour before you put it in the refrigerator to chill or you can serve it immediately over ice.

If you prefer to get you tea ready quicker, in a 3 quart sauce pan bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add in the 3 quart size tea bags (or 12 individual size bags,) turn off the heat, and let it steep for a couple of minutes. Pour this in your 1 gallon pitcher and add your choice of sweetener as above. After that is dissolved, top up with cold water and serve over ice.

Iced tea is excellent with any meal, so try making your own and see how much better it tastes.




Iced Tea Variations