I have a confession to make but I’m going to do it quickly and quietly because I’m going to offend the entire South in one fell swoop. (Idon’tlikesweettea.)
There. I said it.
I just don’t. I love tea -don’t misunderstand me- but I like my tea black and bitter… like my attitude in hot weather. I recognize that there’s an entire industry built around sweet tea and that the love for it has crept north steadily. I just don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I was analyzing my feelings about sweet tea the other day* trying to figure out why I don’t like it when everyone else seems to love it. Conclusion: it feels desserty to me and I don’t like to drink my dessert unless it involves a blender, sinful quantities of ice cream, and a drizzle or seven of chocolate syrup.
*Everyone else analyzes their feelings about food, right? I’m totally normal, right? RIGHT?!?
But in the same self-analysis, I had a thought. What if I turned the sweet tea into dessert? Well, that would make sense! I just happened to have root beer syrup on hand, so I opted for root beer sweet tea but any simple syrup (syrup made by boiling equal amounts of sugar and water together until sugar is dissolved) would work in its place. I mixed the root beer syrup with the freshly made iced tea and poured it into ice pop moulds and popped those into the freezer.
I used decaffeinated iced tea because I can’t handle caffeine past a certain hour and a caffeinated dessert would be a sure-fire way to keep me up into the wee hours of the morning cursing myself. I’m a caffeine weakling. If you’re tougher than me, feel free to make yours more high octane by substituting regular black tea for the decaf variety I used.
- 4 cups boiling water
- 4 standard-sized black tea bags (Lipton, Red Rose, Luzianne, etc...) either regular or decaf or a blend
- Simple Syrup to taste (see ingredients and recipe below)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Stir the sugar and water together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Pour into a clean canning jar or pitcher, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to one month, using as needed.
- Pour the boiling water over the 4 teabags in a heat-proof container such as a canning jar. Let steep between 3-5 minutes. Keep in mind that when frozen, the tea will taste less strong, so you may want to let it brew longer than you normally might. Remove the tea bags and sweeten to taste, again remembering it will taste less sweet when frozen.
- Pour the sweet tea into ice pop (popsicle) moulds or small, disposable paper cups, insert sticks or handles and put into the freezer. It will take about 8 hours for the ice pops to freeze solid, depending on the size of your moulds. These are best eaten within 1 month of being made.