I do SO love visiting the south. Truly, I do. Seriously. Love. It.
Mostly, because it’s WARM there. Turtlenecks, jackets and heavy socks… NOT needed in June. Like they are here in the lovely high plains tundra. Awesome.
Then there's the charm. The hospitality. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. It. is. warm. there.
There's just one teensy, tiny, little problem.
And apparently it's a deal breaker. I can't handle the sweet tea. Not even a little bit.
I have tried. Really, really tried. That stuff is just, well, really SWEET.
We recently started making iced tea concentrate. The problem: the first time I made it as per instructions. Including 8 cups of sugar. 8 cups people. Even my soda lovin' younguns wouldn't touch the stuff. I’m beginning to think you have to actually live in the south before the tea likes you and you like it right back.
So I'm going to give you the original recipe for iced tea concentrate. If you like sweet tea, THIS is the one for you.
ICED SWEET TEA CONCENTRATE
3/4 gallon of water
5 one gallon tea bags or 24 family size tea bags
8 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Boil the water. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover for 30 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. (This helps preserve the tea, and does not affect the taste). Add sugar while still warm and stir until it dissolves. Pour in enough additional water to make 1 gallon of tea concentrate.
This concentrate keeps 4 weeks in the refrigerator and freezes very well. I store it in clean, washed milk jugs. It is really so handy to have and lasts a long time.
Note: **If you don't like your tea sweet, you can leave out the sugar entirely. We like it slightly sweet and use 1.5 cups sugar.
TO MAKE TEA:
For 1 gallon of tea: Measure 3 cups of iced tea concentrate into a pitcher. Add enough additional water to make 1 gallon of tea and stir.
For 2 quarts of tea: Measure 1 and 1/2 cups iced tea concentrate into a pitcher. Add additional water to make 2 quarts of tea and stir.
For a 16 ounce glass of tea: Put 2-3 tablespoons concentrate into a 16 ounce glass. Fill the glass with water and ice; stir.
Keep unused portions of tea refrigerated. If the tea is too weak or too strong for you add more or less iced tea concentrate to the water.
So are there any other not-so-sweet tea lovers out there?