Food, Cooking and Recipes · memories · Southern Living

It’s Sweet Tea Day!

It’s Sweet Tea Day! Does that mean Sun Tea has its own day?

Sweet tea is the certified, bona fide, and official drink of the South. Some would assume that would be Coke, but not everyone could always afford to keep Coke in the house, unlike the households of today.

When I was a kid it only costs a few cents for a container of tea bags and sugar was less expensive than today. You could keep an unlimited stock of sweet tea in the fridge year-round. I have heard tale that people in AZ don’t even know what sweet tea is. If you order sweet tea there you get looked at by waitresses who cock their head and give you that look. That look most dogs give when you talk to them.

I believe some of the Yankees have caught onto the sweet tea notion and they don’t look at you so funny, but it may still be a rare drink option in most places. Of course, I am a tea purist and do not like the idea or thought of Peach Tea, Raspberry-Lemonade Tea or other concoctions.

I enjoyed making Sun Tea in the Summer. It was a very popular pastime and it seemed everyone was making Sun Tea. It became so popular that Lipton tea company put out glass gallon jugs with their name on it. Of course we just used old pickle jars. You already paid for the pickle jar once why buy a fancy jug? Well, I admit that the fancier Lipton jugs were cool because of a push-button spout at the bottom of the jug. You didn’t have to haul a heavy sloshy jug out when you were thirsty.

Empty Lipton Sun Tea Jug
Lipton Sun Tea

I can’t tell you how many jugs of Sun Tea I have seen be made and drank with ZERO ill side-effects. Yet, today they tell you NOT to make Sun Tea because of Salmonella. The liquid supposedly doesn’t get hot enough to kill whatever leads to Salmonella. Huh, I guess they have never been set out in the wide-open sun of the South!

Pinterest is full of pins with small Mason jars with a tea bag in them so you can make custom Sun Tea and some even put raw fruit in their tiny Mason jars.  Again, I am a purist and I do NOT re-pin such things. I still have a hard time accepting that an Arnold Palmer is available on some restaurant menus.

No one bothers with the generic tea brands. It isn’t worth it. You get so much sediment and you have to use twice the number of bags. There are 3 great brands used here and they all have their unique qualities.

LIPTON: #1 because of quality and clarity

Unused Lipton tea bag and envelope
Lipton tea bag

TETLEY: A real close second. I switch between it and Lipton to keep from getting a burn-out feeling of using the same old brand.

Unused Tetley tea bag
Tetley tea bag

Luzianne: Always a good choice for taste but there is more sediment in this brand. That’s the only reason it is third in my opinion. Really though, how many people pay attention to the bottom of a tea jug? Other than me…

Unused Luzianne tea bag
Luzianne tea bag

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2 thoughts on “It’s Sweet Tea Day!

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