“She [my mother] still made sweet tea, of course, being a Southern woman of whom having iced tea on hand is expected. But instead of sugar, my mother used Sweet’N Low, which is kind of like making chocolate cake with dirt. She insisted no one could tell the difference: “They’re both sweet.”
“To say Southerners drink sweet tea like water is both true and not. True because the beverage is served at every meal, and all times and venues in between—at church and at strip clubs, at preschool and in nursing homes. Not true because unlike water or wine or even Coca-Cola, sweet tea means something. It is a tell, a tradition. Sweet tea isn’t a drink, really. It’s culture in a glass. Like Guinness in Ireland. Or ouzo in Greece.”
~ Allison Glock, from “Sweet Tea: A Love Story” Excerpt From “The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide To Living The Good Life.”
Simple Sweet Tea
6 family-size tea bags
8 cups boiling water
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups sugar
Place the tea bags in a large glass pitcher, pour the boiling water over, and steep for 15 minutes. Stir in the baking soda to remove bitterness and sugar.
Remove the tea bags and discard. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator.