Dear Home-Ec 101,
My inlaws from down South are coming to town, I need help! All they do is complain about how awful the food is here and how there is no ‘sweet tea’ to be found. I’d like to make a good impression.
I Like it Bitter in Minneapolis
How to make sweet tea
Dear, I Like it Bitter:
Sweet tea is a cinch to make. The secret is adding sugar before you add cold water. Bring one quart of water to a boil, add six regular* tea bags (Heather prefers Lipton or American Classic, Lisa likes Luzianne decaf and uses four family size bags), and immediately remove from the burner. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes.
Now, the tricky part is determining just how sweet your inlaws prefer their tea. In Heather’s house, she uses 1 cup per gallon, but they’re of the lightly sweetened variety. Your husband should be able to tell you if they like sweet tea or SWEET tea. One leaves a hint of sweetness on the tongue, the other makes your eyes cross and a chill run down your spine with the first sip. If it’s the latter, double the sugar.
Pour the steeped tea into a 2qt pitcher, add 1/2 cup sugar, stir until dissolved, and add 1qt cold water. Serve over ice and store in the fridge. This recipe easily doubles, but do you really want to encourage them to linger?
*regular vs. family size