Si Robertson isn’t the only Robertson who loves sweet tea. Lefty and I, like many southerners, are partial to the drink.
When I was a child growing up in rural south Alabama, my family drank it like it was going out of style. (Not that it would.) Mom would get these big glass containers from the school cafeteria where she taught Kindergarten for 500 years. I think that the containers probably had been used to hold those dill pickles that you used to be able to buy at school. Anyhow, Mom would mix sweet tea in those containers, and that’s what we drank at dinner time.
So after watching “Duck Dynasty” last night, I decided that Si Robertson wasn’t going to be the only one to enjoy the beverage. I decided to make some.
Maybe you are scratching your head and wondering why we southerners drink sweet tea so much.
For one thing, sugar just doesn’t mix well when the tea is cold. (My point is mute if you are putting sugar into hot tea. I drink my hot tea without sugar.)
To prove my point, I contacted Dr. Bob, a bio-chemistry professor at a Texas university, and asked him to put it into scientific terms.
Here is what he said:
“As you heat the water, they [the hydrogen molecules] get excited.
“The hydrogen bonds undergo breakage and reformation, but the main thing is, (if you add the sugar to the hot water) the sugar dissolves more readily because the sugar molecules form dipole-dipole interactions with the water molecules that are excited with from heat. And they form new hydrogen bonds together.
“And that’s what makes the sugar go into solution better in hot water than cold water. Water is a universal solvent. It dissolves ions like table salt–sodium chloride. That’s an ion dipole interaction, and it dissolves hydrophilic molecules like sugar through dipole-dipole interactions.”
And that, my friends, is why southerners drink sweet tea. By the time you add ice, it’s too late. You just have a bunch of itty-bitty sugar granules floating around in your glass. I don’t know about you, but they get in my throat and make me cough.
Therefore, here is thewritesteph’s first recipe posting. It’s how I made my sweet, sweet tea today. I hope you enjoy!
Stephanie’s Sweet Tea
4 tea bags (We like Luzianne; Sometimes I add a little bag of Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chai Tea, because it smells sooooooo good.)
Sugar (to taste)
lemon wedges, mint, cinnamon, paprika, etc. (optional)
- Boil water in your tea kettle and wait for it to whistle.
- Watch “House Hunters International,” visit Pinterest, or read a good book while you wait.
- Place tea bags into the kettle and let it steep for about 12 minutes (more or less, depending on how strong you want your sweet tea).
- Remove the tea bags from the kettle. Place them on the sink to let them dry out. You can recycle them by tossing them in your flower garden. It’s supposed to be good for the soil. And also… yay, you get about 4 tablespoons of free dirt!
- Pour sugar into an empty tea pitcher. How much? Well, that depends on how sweet you want your tea.
- Pour hot tea over the sugar and stir, stir, stir.
- Re-fill the kettle with cold water and pour it in the tea pitcher until it’s filled to the top.
- Stir again.
- Fill a cup with ice (unless you want hot tea), and pour the tea into the cup. Add lemon wedges and mint. I like to add spices such as cinnamon and paprika to give it a kick.
By the way, the cute little tea cup is for display. Here is how we usually drink it:
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