, , ,

In my last post I detailed why I like to avoid aspartame and sucralose as much as I can. I’d rather deal with sugar and calories than chemicals. Just sayin’.
In light of this, here’s a basic tutorial on making your own sweet tea with stevia or white sugar. It’s super easy and tastes just as good as the sweet tea at McDonald’s!

Sweet Tea

makes 1 gallon

1. Boil about a quart of water. I use my tea kettle, but you could also use a large pot, then you could have a 1-pan brewing process. I like that water boils faster in the kettle.

2.Pour the boiling water into a 1 gallon pitcher, along with 8-10 tea bags. Getting good tea REALLY matters. I tried a super-cheap generic tea in the past and my sweet tea didn’t turn out as well. Find yourself some good black tea bags. Brew a cup before making the tea — make sure you like this kind of tea before you make a whole gallon!

3. Let the tea steep for a good 10 minutes. It needs to be pretty strong because next you’ll be adding almost 3 quarts of water and ice.

4. Add a pinch (1/4 tsp) baking soda and sweeten to taste. The baking soda keeps the tea from getting cloudy. Be careful not to add too much — it will make your tea bitter. I used liquid stevia and added 1 dropper-full — probably about 30 drops of liquid. If you prefer to use white sugar, you should use anywhere between 3/4 cup and 1 1/2 cups of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your tea. Jim likes his tea sweeter than I like mine, so experiment until you find a sweetness that appeals to you.

5. Add water and ice to make 1 gallon of tea. Keep in a covered pitcher if you can. Tea can pick up strange flavors and smells from the fridge.

Enjoy your sweet tea!