Is there anything more southern than sweet tea? This house wine of the south is served to guest from trailer parks to the governors mansion. Now I'm not talking about that faint flavorless liquid found at banquet halls and restaurants all over world. The one where they have to add ice to improve the flavor, with a color so faint that you would need a scientific instrument to discern a difference in hue from the water from which it came. No i'm talking about good ole meal in its self, send a diabetic into a coma, more addicting than crack sweet tea. When I worked in the recreation dept. at Kiawah Island I use to turn on northern interns who were trying to work their way towards a degree to the addicting nectar . Like a drug dealer ,I'd give them the first glass for free and watch as they were reduced to begging and bartering for a refill, as the cravings for a second glass filled their heart and mind with an unquenchable desire and love for The Souths elixir of love . I often wonder if any of them were ever stopped at customs at the Mason-Dixon Line on their way home at the end of the summer season . Two cases of Liptons and a five pounds of Dixie Crystal, trying to get back into Ohio or Michigan.
The great South Carolina band Craven Melon once wrote, "On The Eight Day, God Made Sweet Tea" and to this there can be no argument. People often accuse Southerners of moving, talking or acting slow, and maybe its true. I've heard this blamed on the oppressive heat and humidity that are part and parcel of our glorious summers, but I have another answer. Just maybe its a three hundred year old secret, passed from father to son and mother to daughter from Virginia to Florida,Charleston to El Paso. Maybe we understand just a little quicker than most, and act on that knowledge before the rest of the world and in doing so finish early, and speak slow, as to measure the words and not divulge our regions greatest secret. It's all just a ploy to spend more time with family and friends and have just one more glass of that Southern Heaven.
PS and A Big PS: I might be stripped of my Southern citizenship for this but in the interest of world peace I will now for the first time pass along my aunt- Miss Alene's recipe (for those of y'all that don't know , calling an older relative mr. or miss is an added degree of respect).
Six regular tea bags
Two and don't skimp this cups of sugar this is sweet, not iced tea there's a difference
(Charleston Tea Plantation Tea is Best ,Liptons if you can't find it)
Tie strings on bags together, pull the bags out by the strings as not to rupture.
Add all ingredients this is important and bring to a boil.
Boiling the sugar kind of caramelizes it as and changes the taste of the tea
Let steep (cool) for fifteen minutes
Fill a gallon pitcher with ice then pour in tea
Add Lemon no more than a slice, it will turn into lemonade with anymore
I prefer to add a 1/2 slice in the glass when I feel the need.
Pour yourself a glass, crawl into a hammock and do little to nothing and then start making plans to conquer the world,,,,Southern Style