I'm not much on flavored drinks like soda, and frankly, I'm a coffee girl. But there's something downright romantic about Sun Tea, doncha think? An old-time glass pitcher sitting out in the sun, catching the light... Just seems nice.
But I've never done it. If the kids want iced tea, it's just easier to buy Lipton iced tea and stir it into water with a spoon.
However, my friend is having a big grad party and asked if I'd help making 5 gallons of sun tea. Not one to turn down a challenge, I said I would gladly help. (This required
First of all, you need a glass jar with a metal lid. I got mine at Walmart, but you can get the same one on Amazon (if that's easier)...
Fill the 2 gallon jug with spring or filtered water.
(Okay, I'm trying to be all fancy on you here - I just used water out of the tap. Apparently there's some scare about bacteria and the sun tea... blah blah. I grew up drinking out of the hose, so I'm not too worried.)
Add 10 black tea bags, and make sure to screw the lid on, with the paper tags outside of the jug.
(Again, complicated and fancy. I know. Go ahead and used loose tea, or green tea if you like. )
At this point you can add sugar, sweetener, lemon, mint leaves, cucumber...
I think I'm going to just go with traditional tea, and add the sweetener and lemon to each glass (more on that below).
Set the 2 gallon jar filled with the water and tea out in the sun. Lie next to it and relax for a while if you like. Or take photos of it, and then run it back inside lugging the jar, tripping over the dog, because of a pop-up thunderstorm. Again, your choice. :)
Brew for 3-5 hours, depending on how strong you like your tea. Store in the fridge, and serve over lots of ice.
Here's the thing. If you want your tea plain, so that everyone can add sweetener after, sugar doesn't dissolve very well in the cooled iced tea. I have two suggestions for you:
1. Blend your sugar on high, for about 20 seconds, to make powdered sugar. It will dissolve much easier.
2. Make simple syrup (below)
2 parts sugar
1 part water
1 part water
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly.
- Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. (Don't allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick.)
- Allow to cool completely and thicken, then bottle. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.
And there you have it. Are you going to sun tea it up this summer? Do you do anything differently? What do you add to your sun tea?
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