Texas Tea is the ONLY preferred accompaniment to most daily meals or by itself on a warm day. But there are the "sweeteners"--who add the sugar BEFORE it's served--and the "nonsweeteners" who will glare you down if you reach for the sugar! In Texas, it's almost a statement of moral character!
Yields About 1 quart
Prep.Time: 10 minutes
6 tablespoons loose black tea or 6 tea bags
1 quart fresh cold water
Sugar -- optional
Lemon wedge
Place loose tea or tea bags into a large teapot or similar pot. Pour water into a tea kettle or saucepan; bring to a vigorous boil and immediately pour it over the tea. (Don't allow water to boil more than 1 minute or tea could be cloudy.) Cover the pot and allow to steep about 5 minutes. The tea should get good and dark since it will be diluted by ice. Discard teabags or strain tea through a small strainer before serving. Let tea stand at room temperature until needed.
When pouring the tea, don't overdo the icecubes the way fast-food franchises always do. Serve it in a barrel-size plastic glass or a 1-quart Mason jar for an authentic touch. Add sugar if desired and a hefty wedge of lemon.
1. MINTED ICED TEA: Make a simple syrup of 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water with 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, boiled until sugar is dissolved and clear, then cooled. Strain mint leaves; use instead of sugar to sweeten the tea. Garnish with more mint leaves.
2. SUN TEA: Put tea and cold water in a jar and set it out in the sun for about 2-4 hours.
3. KICKED-UP TEA: Lace the Minted Iced tea with a healthy splash of bourbon. (!!!)

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Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved