Posted Wednesday, Jul. 03, 2013
I recently spotted vintage iced tea spoons in an antiques store, and as I held the bundle of long-handled spoons in my hand, I realized how long it had been since I saw, much less used one. I bought the bunch for $5 and took them home.
Then I started thinking about iced tea, a drink thats as American as Coca-Cola, but somehow never jumped the pond.
Cold-Brewed Iced Tea
Makes 4 quarts
Cold brewing iced tea overnight is easier than brewing or making sun tea, and theres none of the bitter taste from heating the tea leaves. Use any tea you like black, green or herbal according to taste.
4 family-size tea bags (or 12 to 16 regular-size
tea bags how many you use depends on
how strong you like your tea)
4 quarts cold water
For each serving:
4 fresh mint leaves
1. Fill up a pitcher with water, add the tea bags and place in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove the tea bags.
2. Get out the biggest, tallest glasses you can find, and put 4 mint leaves in each one, along with 1/4 of a lime and some sugar (a couple of teaspoons ought to do it). Muddle the mint, lime and sugar together until the mint and lime are well smashed. (This mojito trick helps the limes and mint release oils, thus intensifying their flavor.)
3. Now pour in the tea. Add some ice. Stir. Drink. Repeat as often as necessary.
The truth is, after living in France for six years, I forgot all about iced tea because over there, it doesnt exist.
Now that Im back in the States, Ive swapped my afternoon coffee for iced tea. Id forgotten just how refreshing a cold glass of tea can be on a hot day. Whether served in oversize jam jars or a straight-sided 16-ouncer, the glass must be large.
Iced tea isnt something to sip like a fine wine. Its meant to be gulped.
Who among us in the South doesnt have happy memories of iced tea in the summertime? My mother always made it with dinner, no matter what was being served. Thats the thing about iced tea. It goes with everything.
She always made it in a fat crystal pitcher, a gift when she and Daddy got married in 1956. If there was any left over, it would rest on the top shelf of the fridge with plastic film on top, for the next day.
Thanks to Mom, Ill take my iced tea just about any way its given to me sweet or unsweetened, shaken and chilled or simply poured over a whole bunch of ice.
Just make sure that its in a big glass. Because even the summers are bigger in Texas.
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