Happy National Iced Tea Month!

June 18, 2012 2:57 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Sweet Tea
Perfect Southern Sweet Tea every single time. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Because anyone who's anyone knows that June is National Iced Tea Month, we're going to be rounding up everything you need to know to sound like the king of the cold stuff when you serve this to friends in your summer salon.

We think you'll agree that there's no better kind of iced tea than Southern Sweet Tea, so we're going to be showing you how to make the perfect batch of that, topping it off with just a hint of Homemade Herbal Honey before you bring it to the parlor.

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Southern Sweet Tea with Homemade Herbal Honey

Making this stuff like a pro is going to give you a ton of kitchen cred. The secret to getting sweet tea as flavorful and perfect as the stuff they serve up at Bojangles is preparing it in a hyper-concentrated batch, then adding cold water to that concentration. No idea what that means? Read on.

1. The Hot Part

Start with five or six tea bags (that means black tea in places where that's not the default). Put them in a pitcher and add a pinch of baking soda and two cups of boiling water. Put a plate on top of your pitcher and let it steep for fifteen-to-seventeen minutes.

While that's happening, in a saucepan, simmer some honey until it's just bubbling. Add fresh rosemary, to taste. Cook it until the rosemary starts to lend its flavors into the honey. For a less aggressive taste, substitute thyme for rosemary. If you're looking for more floral than herbal, you can use lavender instead. The possibilities here are endless and just depend on your mood that day.

Save the herbal honey for later.

2. The Cold Part

After you're done steeping, uncover the pitcher. Add six cups of ice-cold water, and put it in the fridge till it's cold.

3. The Fun Part

Pour the tea into individual glasses. Add the herbal honey to taste.

4. The Take-Away Lesson

Let's boil this recipe down to a ratio.

Remember: 3 tea bags : 1 cup boiling water : 3 cups ice cold water.



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