Happy 4th of July! Without a doubt, it's always hot on 4th of July, which is fine because for us at least there's always a pool nearby. But, sometimes even a pool on a hot day isn't refreshing enough and you need something to refresh you internally. Sure, beer does the trick at the moment, but that doesn't last long. However, a nice cold sweet tea, that will refresh you!
As with most things, sweet tea is subjective. Not sweet enough, too sweet? It may take a while to get to that just right. I personally like mine "medium sweet" which is how I describe it. Not overly sweet (obviously I'm not from the south), but there has to be some sweetness. I like making my sweet tea with simple syrup, I find it much easier to taste test the level of sweetness. Plus, I prefer to cold brew, and just throwing some sugar in there doesn't really dissolve and sweeten the whole pitcher!
At first I thought it was silly to share a recipe for sweet tea, but then I realized not everyone grew up making tea, nor have a husband as in love with tea as Rob. It really is easy (and in fact, I find it easier without the iced tea maker we just had to have - I use it sometimes because we have it, but I also do this method a lot too)
Cold Brew Sweet Tea
4 large cold-brew tea bags (I've only ever seen Lipton, but I also haven't looked too hard!)
3 quarts of cold water (1 cup divided)
1 cup sugar
sliced lemons and/or mint leaves if desired
Place the tea bags in a large pitcher and add all but 1 cup of the 3 quarts. Steep tea bags for about 30 minutes. Remove tea bags from pitcher, and gently squeeze a little more out. (I like to knot mine together and tie to a wooden spoon, spatula or whatever is clean and right there)
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan make a simple syrup. Combine sugar and remaining cup of water over medium-high heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and dissolve the sugar. Once sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat.
Add simple syrup to the pitcher of tea to taste. If you want it a little less sweet start with half of the syrup, more sweet use all of it!
Serve over ice, and garnish with lemon, mint or anything else you like.
Source: Coffee and Cannolis original