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Welcome to Sweet Tea Tuesday.  Pull up a rocking chair and we’ll have a couple of tall glasses of refreshing iced tea to cool us down.  ~clinks glasses~ We can talk about whatever comes to mind and exchange ideas.  We’re pretty peaceable around here, so join in and leave a comment if the urge hits.  The more the merrier.

So what do we want to talk about on this first Sweet Tea Tuesday?  How about, “What’s your favorite drink?”  Mine is…iced tea.  Now there’s a shocker.  😀  I know everyone has their own favorite drink, from good ole water to exotic pomegranate infused super drinks.  But why do we even think about our drink options?  All other animals just drink water.  Of course, that’s all they have to pick from unless some guy thinks his drunk dog or cat is funny and wants to share it with the world on YouTube.  Humans are unique in that we are always looking for something new and different, or conversely to hold onto something nostalgic.  That’s probably it for me as much as anything: nostalgia.

I grew up drinking it every night for dinner with my family.  It’s sweet, so it tastes good.  It has caffeine in it, but oddly enough it relaxes me.  It is truly refreshing, has a pleasant aroma, and is pleasing to the eyes.  But the main thing is that it is the drink of The South.

You want a raging debate?  Tell a southerner, “My mother’s sweet tea is the best in the world, no further discussion needed.”  The debate is on.  Now it may not be his mother’s tea that’s better than your mother’s tea, but if not, he’ll have a grandmother, aunt, or sister that makes a tea that’ll kick your Mother’s ass to hell and back and have change for her cab ride home to boot. 

Now there are hundreds of variations of good sweet tea, but the following are the main variables:

  1. The water you use.  It can be spring, bottled, or tap water.  These will change the taste to differing degrees.
  2. The tea you use.  I grew up on Lipton, but now I like Luzziane.  You?
  3. How to brew the tea.  I like sun tea, but it is soooo slow.  My wife boils the water and then adds the bags afterward.  I know some people have little nifty devices that allow them to have the tea in the water as it’s boiling. 
  4. The amount of sugar.  Some people add sugar/sweetner at the table.  Uh…no.  Get it so sweet that the kids prefer it to dessert, and then add a cup of water to cut it.  Yes!!!
  5. WHEN the sugar is added.  ALWAYS dissolve sugar in the hot undiluted tea BEFORE adding the remaining water.  That’s the only way it’s hot enough to be totally dissolved, and it just tastes different.  No other answer acceptable.  Sorry, but I am a snob on this point.
  6. Any additives.  You can add fruits like peaches, blackberries, apples, oranges, or lemons.  I know some will think this is sacrilege, but I love adding a can of Minute Maid concentrated frozen lemonade to the tea in the pitcher.  Okay, I don’t actually do this: my wife does.  But I’ll put her tea up against your mother’s wannabe kicked to hell and back sweet tea any day of the week.

Fill a glass with the ice of your choice, and pour the tea slowly into the glass.  It just goes down easy.  <<wiping saliva from off of keyboard now>>  Okay, I’m back.

So, what’s your favorite drink? Is it tea? If so, what is your favorite way to make it? Do you prefer another drink? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?  Does it bring back memories of your childhood, or is it just really good?