There is nothing more satisfying than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer's day. Scratch that. Any day. In my family, we are very particular, nay even snobby about our tea. Believe me, we drink our fair share. None of that hibiscus-mango-peach nonsense. True iced tea need not be futzed with. That refreshing hit of sweet citrus simply cannot be matched by any other beverage.
Whenever I think of iced tea, so many fond memories come to mind. I first think of my mom--the consummate authority on all things iced tea. Over the years, the simple act of sharing iced tea and conversation has helped to nurture and develop the unique relationship we share. Whether it's after a long workout or just a trip to the grocery store, we never miss an opportunity to indulge in our favorite drink.
I often think of my Aunt Arlene as well. Growing up, there was always a huge jug of iced tea sitting on her kitchen countertop. Her Sun Tea is brimming with lemons and oranges and its fruity, sweet flavor is the perfect compliment to casual family dinners and long conversations on the porch.
Texas Sun Tea (Courtesy of my Aunt Arlene, whose love for iced tea is endless)
A Sunny Day
1 Gallon of water
6 large iced tea bags (Luzianne is the best, but Lipton is an excellent substitute as well)
2 lemons, halved
1 seedless orange, halved
1 cup of sugar (or more to taste)
Sun Tea is made with love and heat. Fill a glass gallon jug with cool water, add the tea bags, juice the lemons and orange and add the rinds. Give it a quick stir and steep for one hour in the sun. Add 1 cup of sugar for sweet tea or leave unsweetened. Serve with tons of ice.
Preparation for not so sunny days: Fill a medium-sized pot with 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add 5 tea bags and steep for 1 hour. Add the fruit and stir. Pour into a gallon glass jug or tea pitcher and dilute with water. You may have to alter the amount of water depending on the size of your pitcher. A good rule of thumb is about 2 parts water: 1 part tea. Be sure to add the water slowly and check the color by pouring a small amount into a glass and holding it up to the light. The tea should have a golden amber color. Serve with tons of ice.