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Friday Shout Out: Iced Tea

Yes, it's a worn-out topic at this point, just a mere five days past the official Summer Solstice - it's really freakin' hot outside.

So let this be my last grumbling about the heat on this here blog - can't speak for Scott, but I do want to just let the bitching about the heat go, as it's nothing I can personally control. Unless God (or the great Creator, whomever he or she may be that controls the Almighty Global Thermostat) decides to help us all about and turn down the temps any time soon, we just need to flat-out deal. And chill.

The best way to do so? No, not Gin and Tonics, though they are a close second or third behind stripping down naked and finding someone to fan you down while feeding you iced and peeled grapes.

It's iced tea, people - the good, old-fashioned, non-alcoholic (though you could add some Firefly if you're feeling frisky) beverage of choice, and sweetened for those of who grew up south of the Mason-Dixon.

Scott and I have enjoyed roughly a half-gallon every two to three days now that the heat is on, and it's amazing how well it quenches the thirst and gives you a peaceful, easy feeling when you really are considering committing manslaughter if the oppressive humidity doesn't tamper down right this very Godforsaken minute.

Not that I ever have those feelings. As Scott joked when we staggered, I mean ambled, back to our car after our B-more farmers market visit on Sunday, sweat giving us both totally sexy sheens on our faces, arms, etc., "Hey, let's HUG."

Now, I know there's a contingent of folks out there who love some sweet tea, and others who feel sugar corrupts. You anti-sweet tea people are just outright wrong, but whatever. If you didn't grow up drinking it like mother's milk, it probably does seem outrightly outrageous to turn perfectly good tea into teeth-rotting syrup. I don't like super-sweet tea myself, and I do not enjoy the addition of lemon wedges or juice or fruit anything* at all: instead I enjoy just a tinge of sugar, plus mint leaves for a refreshing little surprise on your tongue as you sip.
Here's how I do it:

I boil a tea kettle of water (not all the way full, about 2/3), add to a half-gallon pitcher one family size tea bag o' choice (right now it's the Giant grocery Generic brand black tea, cause I'm fancy like that) and a half-cup of granulated sugar, and about five to six leaves of mint, crushed up between my fingers and torn. I then add my kettle of water, let it steep for about five minutes, remove the tea bag and the mint leaves, and add cold water to fill the pitcher. I then stir it all up, stick in the fridge (or the freezer if I'm impatiently in need of some iced tea refreshment) and then once cooled, serve it up with lots of ice.

It's kinda the best thing ever. I have a whole bag (yes, I buy boxed wine. I'm classy/cheap like that.) of Pino Grigio, a tasty natural berry-flavored Italian soda, cranberry juice, and other assorted drinks chilling in the fridge right now, and my iced tea is the one thing I can't seem to get enough of. Of course I am drinking plenty of water, but again, there's just something about a cold glass of sweet tea!

If you're a lover of the sweet tea, check this site out and get yourself a t-shirt to prove it. I had two "Carolina Girls - Sweeter Than The Tea" gifted to me and I wear them all the damn time. They are fabulous.

Word on the street is that for DC area people in need of a sweet tea fix - and no, most restaurants here don't put sugar in their tea - can go to Chick Fil A, McDonalds, or the lower rung fast-food place Checkers to access it. I don't frequent those places that often, but it's good to know if you're desperate, you have options.

So there - a shout out to iced tea. I'd say it's well overdue. Go and get you some.
*It should be noted that there's this freakish thing called "Fruit Tea" in TN and KY (and maybe other Dixie states, I'm not sure) that is really sweet and fruity and disgusting. I may be Southern but I do not approve.


  1. Excuse me!!! TN"Fruit Tea"?? We make the real deal where I come from, lady. Sweet with side of BBBQ and beans. ;)

  2. Girl, I know not all TN tea is maligned by fruit. But they do seem to love it in Nashville...just sayin'...

  3. I like my tea unsweet. Not only is it better for me on the caloric intake I actually prefer the taste most of the time.

    Although, I do get behind this "fruit tea" thing every once in awhile. Food Co's is beyond compare!

  4. I think you can also get sweet tea at any Cracker Barrel. I say this because we were in Cn/NY last week, went to a Cracker Barrel (we were famished!), and my husband ordered a *gasp* sweet tea in the north!

  5. I was surprised to find restaurants in Virginia that only served unsweet tea. It is more the exception than the rule, but I couldn't believe it happened at all!


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