Are You Even Southern if You Don’t Serve Sweet Tea?
Yes, but you’re being judged.
When I first moved to New Orleans I automatically assumed since it was in the south, all tea was going to be sweetened. I could not have been more wrong.
Maybe it’s just New Orleans that offers more unsweetened tea; they have many out of towners who don’t know what sweet tea is. On that note, anyone who says there is sugar on the table to sweeten your tea deserves a special place in hell.
Okay, maybe not that drastic, but, they can kick rocks in the middle of the street with open-toed shoes on. Since most sweet tea is brewed hot (shout out to the recent invention of cold brew iced tea-you’re the real mvp!) you can’t add sugar after it is cooled.
Like sand in the ocean, it just sits at the bottom, occasionally stirred up to settle back down again.
What’s the remedy to this unfortunate tragedy? Simple syrup. It is typically equal parts water and sugar boiled until a thin syrup is developed. This will allow for your tea to be sweetened without the sugar trapped at the bottom. Seriously y’all, it makes everyone’s life easier and if you are a restaurant, it should cut down on cost. It allows for everyone to sweeten their tea to their own liking so everyone is happy. If you’re in a Southern home, they just make two pitchers-one sweetened and one unsweetened. Restaurants have caught on to this too thank goodness.
To prepare you for the guests who will be joining you all for Easter, here is my tea recipe. There are no measurements because I don’t usually measure. Also, it allows for our non-sweet tea drinking friends to enjoy (though I’m judging you).
Tea bags of Black tea (the number depends on how many people you will be having. The brands I trust are Luzianne, Lipton, and Community.)
Place water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil.
Add tea bags. Steep for recommended time with the burner on low.
Remove tea bags and add fruit slices.
Allow to simmer until it has reached your desired taste.
Let tea cool just a little before pouring it into a pitcher.
Add desired amount of sugar (or none).
Pour over ice and serve.
The tea should be at room temperature or Lukewarm before pouring over ice. The ice will melt and the tea will be a watered down mess. If you want to fancy it up, you can add some grenadine and ginger ale to make a mocktail.
I hope this helps y’all become a little more Southern (or a little less) this season. And remember, sweet tea is served year round and anytime someone stops by.
Until next time y’all!