Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sun Tea

I really thought EVERYBODY knew what Sun Tea was! When I was growing up, it seems like we drank it all summer. My mom always has a carafe of it going.

I did a bit of google research and found that it's a southern tradition. The long, cold brew of the tea results in a deep and mellow flavor. Perfect for a hot afternoon. I was surprised to also see many *Warning, Warning Will Rogers* links pop up. Evidently this process promotes bacteria growth of some sort. So if you make it, and die, consider yourself warned. My family has been drinking it for years.









Here's how I make mine:

I fill my clean, glass pitcher with 2 quarts of cold water. Then open up 4 tea packets - I leave the little paper hang tag on. Push the tea bags into the water, then secure the paper bits on the outside with a rubber band or something. Add a lid or plastic wrap to keep the extra protein {bugs} out of your tea, and set it in the sun for several hours. When it looks like tea, it's done, about 3-4 hours depending on how hot it is.

I use regular Lipton Tea for this - you can use whatever tea you like best. Peach or raspberry are good flavors!

If you like your tea sweet, make a simple syrup. Boil 1 cup water, stir in one cup sugar until clear. Cool. Stir in about 1/2c for 2 quarts of tea. It's better than just adding sugar, no grit.

Enjoy outside with your favorite relaxing activity!

11 comments:

Anna said...

Sun tea - yum. Been drinking it that way for as long as I've been alive!

Also - if you knock your mom's pitcher off the edge of the deck and it breaks, she will get mad at you... Don't get between a woman and her tea!

QuiltyGoodness said...

We always made it in CA, so I don't think it's southern. But then again, my parents are from Florida and my grandma was from Alabama. So maybe...

We always made it in one of these:
http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/LargeImage.aspx?SKU=6072201&Image=6/6072201_090408i_dk.jpg
I just saw one at a Target in Minneapolis, so I am pretty sure the Midwest has suntea too!

audrey said...

I'm in the Chicago area and we made this all the time growing up, and I still make it like this today. One of the best parts of summer!

Blue Is Bleu said...

I told my husband about this after our emails and he had no idea what sun tea was... and when I told him about the health warnings, he exclaimed "Angela's trying to kill us!" LOL!!!

Leslie said...

i have heard all the warnings...but we drank it all the time growing up and i am still here too

~Michelle~ said...

really? bacteria?? i've never gotten sick...plus, after the tea is brewed, you cool it back down anyway!

Doris said...

We've made it in Iowa forever, too. Never gotten sick from it, that I'm aware of... Your's looks prettier than mine, however...

Stephanie said...

Interesting, my mom lived in Tennessee for years, maybe thats where she discovered it.

sandra said...

I have made sun tea up here in Canada forever and never been sick.

Sarah Craig said...

Your comment about covering the tea pitcher made me remember something crafty I saw when we were visiting Ireland - they took circles of fabric larger than the top of whatever they wanted to color, sewed beads to the edge of the circle to weight it down, and used those to cover the open container. This would be a really attractive way to "dress" your sun tea pitcher and keep the bugs out!

Jennie said...

Oh, I LOVE sun tea! And I grew up in upstate New York, so I don't think it's a southern thing. I've never gotten sick from it. Ever.
~ Jennie