Classic Sweet Tea

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
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Photo by Lauren Allen

Food Culture of the South

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2 quarts

  • 12 fresh, fragrant regular-size tea bags
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups filtered or bottled water
  • 1¼ cups simple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  1. Place the tea bags and baking soda in a large heatproof glass pitcher or jar.
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil in a saucepan or kettle and pour into the pitcher, making sure the tea bags are submerged. Cover and let stand without stirring for 7 minutes. Lift out the tea bags and let the excess drip into the pitcher, but do not squeeze them.
  3. Stir in the simple syrup. Add the ice and stir until melted. Cover and refrigerate until deeply chilled. Serve over additional ice, if desired.

Simple Syrup

White sugar is traditional, but the slightly more robust flavor of unbleached sugar is a great match for black tea.
1 cup water
1 cup unbleached granulated sugar (such as Florida Crystals)

  1. Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove from the heat and let stand until cool.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for up to one month. 
  • By Sheri Castle

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