Thursday, May 20, 2010

Best Damn Iced Tea, Bar None

The key is to keep the temperature below 200ºF. This minimizes tannin extraction, keeping the tea crystal clear when it chills and with negligible astringency. Recorded 19 May 2005. Have made many gallons every summer for decades. This lightly-sweetened beverage contains about 1.0 gram of carbohydrate per fluid ounce.
4 Luzianne family-size tea bags
1 regular size mint tea bag (Bigelow Mint Medley is fine)
1 gallon covered pitcher, two-thirds full of water
2/3 c granulated sugar
Tie the bags together for ease of handling. Place in a 1 quart saucepan. Add cold water to the top. Heat over medium-low until it simmers. Never let the tea boil! Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Top up the water, cover tightly and set aside to steep and cool. In the meantime, dissolve the sugar in the pitcher and chill. Stir the tea extract into the pitcher gently to avoid foaming, squeezing the bags dry with the back of a spoon. Add water to bring to a gallon. Cover and chill. Variation: Substitute Red Zinger, Raspberry Zinger, other fruit and herb teas for the mint.