Sunday, May 12, 2013

quintessentially southern

 When I went to law school in D.C. there were a few things that I missed about southern life. People up North walked so fast - every where - all the time. Nobody doddled about like me. People loathed the humidity - even though it was nothing compared to my home town of Memphis. Eighty-five degrees and a fifty percent humidity index woulda felt like spring back home, but in D.C. the police were passing out bottle water to tourists. We don't break a sweat until the heat index makes it feel like its over 110 degrees in the summer. But the cultural difference that stands out the most in my memory was the lack of sweet tea.

If you go to any place to eat in the South and order tea, the waiter or waitress will always ask, "Sweet or unsweet?" And as a rule, southerners always order it sweet. We take pride in our sweet tea. It is in every home. It's our coffee when it is too hot outside, our water when we want to be refreshed. It is the nectar of what it means to be southern. Fragrant honeysuckles, sweating sidewalks, bright azaleas, fresh slices of tomatoes, softball sized hydrangeas and sweet tea are my idea of summer in the South. And on a perfect day recently, I made this amazing mint infused earl grey sweet tea.

To make your own gather the following:
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water, plus more for brewing
2 cups of fresh mint
4-5 bags of earl grey tea

Boil earl grey tea according to directions. Let steep on stove. In a separate pan add sugar and cup of water. Mix and turn heat on medium. Add in mint leaves, stems and all (mine came from my CSA, but I always have some in my garden this time of year too.). Cook until sugar dissolves. Do not boil. Remove mint with tongs. Pour mixture into a pitcher. Add brewed tea on top. Add more water if needed. Top with ice. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve over more ice.

Maybe if folks up North would just slow down a bit and have a sip of this refreshing sweet tea they wouldn't mind that tiny bit of humidity so much. It's just an idea, y'all.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe. I guess I should give it a try too. It seems a refreshing recipe.


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