As you all know, I am a southern woman at heart. I was born and raised in the south. Now, I live in the UK. Granted, everywhere has a “south”, but that doesn’t make it the same as home. It is my goal to make our home here home for me, my UK native husband and our kiddos. In Reese Witherspoon’s book, Whiskey In A Teacup, she says it perfectly. “I take the South everywhere I go” pg 14. I’ve been trying to read a lot lately, especially cook books and parenting books. Just trying to grow a little here and there.
There are many ways that I’ve brought the South to the UK with me. Through music, food, southern hospitality and especially, Sweet Tea.
I want to share with you today something Reese W. refers to as “Sun Tea” in her book. This is a recipe she says her grandma would use often and they would have with most of their meals as she was growing up. I remember vividly certain specific dishes that my Grandma, “Maw-Maw”, and my Mom would always make and I will probably be sharing some of those recipes on here, especially with the holidays approaching.
Sweet Tea was always a staple among these recipes. We rarely went more than a couple days without a big ole gallon of sweet tea sitting in the fridge. And I know my Maw-Maw still loves a good ice cold glass of sweet tea. Being from the south, sweet tea is probably one of the easiest beverages to come by. Here in the UK however, well I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been looked at funny. Even in chain restaurants like Pizza Hut, KFC or Burger King. They have no idea what “iced sweet tea” is. I find that the oddest thing about living here so far. That and driving on the “wrong side” of the road!
I have tried this recipe from Reese’s book and I make it often, especially with the insanely warm weather we had last month. I have to say this is hands down the easiest way I have ever made tea and it tastes delicious! More recently, I’ve had to make it the more common way, inside using a tea pot! But for this recipe, all you really need is the sunshine! You just put the tea bags and water in a Mason Jar, or Kilner Jar, place it in a sunny spot, set a timer and don’t pay it any mind until it’s done!
Being here in the UK, I haven’t found any tea that is just as wonderful as Lipton Iced Tea tea bags but PG Tips comes pretty darn close. Any black tea will do, try this recipe using your favorite! Maybe a mint or fruity tea if that’s your deal.
Here’s what I use
1 quart jar
3 personal size tea bags
¼ cup sugar (OR 1/8th cup of brown sugar or coconut sugar)
Place the tea bags in the jar and fill it with water.
Close the lid and sit it outside in a sunny spot.
Give it about 3 hours and check it. It should be a mild brown color, hardly see through.
If it is warm, add the sugar and stir it until dissolved.
If it’s not that warm, pour out about ½ cup into a mug and heat it in the microwave. Stir the sugar into that until dissolved and the add it back to the Sun Tea jar.
Serve over ice and enjoy!