When I was a child, we had a housekeeper who taught me two very important things - how to store butter at room temperature and how to make sweetened iced tea. I am grateful for both lessons, and with summer fast approaching, I thought I'd share her recipe with you. It is detailed, but if you follow the instructions exactly, I can promise that you'll have excellent tea every time.
Southern Sweet Tea
10 regular size Lipton tea bags
8 cups water
¾ cup sugar (see note below)
Place 2 cups water in a medium saucepan with the sugar; bring just to a rolling boil. Stir to dissolve sugar; turn off the heat. Place the tea bags in the pot of hot water and steep for exactly 4½ minutes. Remove bags and place the tea concentrate in a glass or metal pitcher. Add 6 cups room temperature water (which keeps tea from getting cloudy) and stir to combine, if necessary. (I like to make this early in the day and let it refrigerate for a few hours before serving.) Serve over ice.
Note: The original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, but years of being away from the South changed my palate a bit, and I find 1 cup just a tad too sweet. You may feel differently.