It’s 100 degrees out and about 95% humidity. Instead of heating up your house to brew some tea, use solar energy instead. We drink sweet tea year round in our home. My kids love it. They like it so much that I have to limited how much they can have in a day and I’ve taken to cutting the tea with decaf (hush, don’t tell them).
Pretty much anywhere you go in these parts, if you order ice tea, it’s going to be sweet. Sure, you have those restaurants who ask you if you prefer sweet or unsweet, but they are just catering to the non-Southern crowd. I do like it sweet, but not tooth ache sweet. My kids often comment how much sweeter the tea is when we go out. Oh well, they still drink my tea when they are home.
What is sun tea? It’s brewing tea by using the sun’s energy. What a perfect way to enjoy the sun without being in it! It’s simple enough; fill a jar with water, put tea bags in it and set it in the sun. Brewing time will depend on how much sunlight is hitting the jar. I found 2-3 hours is enough, but judge it by the color of the tea.
For added flavor, brew the tea with some herbs. My favorite herb with black tea is mint. I do like lemon with it as well, but that comes in later. My black tea of choice? Luzianne. They didn’t pay me to say that or give any for free. I’ve use that brand for years and think it makes the best tasting ice tea.
For my tea example, I used a half gallon mason jar. Clean the jar in very hot water to sterilize. Fill the jar with filtered water. Add the tea bags. I use two family size Luzianne tea bags for half a gallon of water. Add a few sprigs of mint (in my case, spearmint) and let it brew until it gets to your preferred strength. While it’s brewing prepare the simple syrup.
Bring together equal parts sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.
My tea brewed for 2 hours. It was quite a toasty day. After the tea has brewed, bring inside and discard the tea bags. I leave the mint in, but you can take it out if you like. Add the simple syrup to the brewed tea and stir. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and add it to the jar (optional). Set the sweet tea in the fridge to chill.
Once chilled, serve yourself a generous amount and garnish with a slice of lemon. The lemon and mint are refreshing in the tea. It’s a perfect way to cool down on a hot day!