I caught an episode on Food Network where two actress friends cooked lunch and made sweet tea. Between my brother’s delicious iced coffee and my determination that my parents made a mistake and I should have been born in the South, I was inspired to create my own icy, sweet beverage. Also, my Father-in-law gets a kick out of how I drawl, “Sweet tea,” since I first ever heard, “Sweet tea,” at restaurants in Memphis. I just say it the way my friends and the waitresses said it.
The first delicious batch was traditional with thinly sliced lemon added to the pitcher. For the next batch, I decided to try peach tea, and I noticed the variety name July Flame on my box of Trader Joe’s peaches. It is dang hot in Houston these July days, so this is my refreshing July Flame Sweet Tea:
- Heat kettle of fresh water to a boil.
- While water is heating, unwrap 2 family-size tea bags and place them in a heat-safe, 4-cup measuring cup. Our house brand is Lipton decaffeinated so we can enjoy iced tea all day and evening.
- Pour boiling water over tea bags to the 4-cup measure mark. Steep tea for 8 minutes.
- While tea is steeping, thinly slice 1/2 lemon and 1/2 peach.
- When timer goes off, use a large spoon to remove tea bags and squeeze excess tea into measuring cup by pressing another spoon against them.
- Stir and melt 1/4 cup honey into hot tea. It’s best to use local honey. Let tea cool for several minutes.
- Fill pitcher with ice cubes, about 3/4 full. Pour cooled tea over ice. Add sliced fruit, and use large spoon to push fruit through ice into pitcher.
- To serve, fill a glass with ice cubes and pour tea over ice. Fish out a piece of fruit for a garnish, if you’d like. If there is any tea left after serving your friends, store pitcher in ‘fridge. It’s okay if the ice melts, but drink the tea in the next day or two.