As I’m originally a Northerner by birth, I have to confess that sweet tea was very foreign to me when I first moved to the South. Sort of like the whole cola versus soda versus pop depending on where you are in relation to the Mason-Dixon line. The following discussion on how to enjoy your Southern sweet tea style and fun recipes for you to enjoy are brought to you via my partnership with Equal®. Per usual, thoughts, opinions are desire to embrace my taste are that of Rural Mom.
Once I acquired a taste for Southern-style sweet tea, I certainly met the approval of my new friends and neighbors, but again, I’ll confess, I never did acclimate myself well to the excessive amount of sugar in my diet. As I grew more health-conscious over the years and gave up soda, tea became my refreshing drink of choice but if I wanted to continue to enjoy sweet tea, I had to find a way to do so without sugar. At first reducing sugar and adding in natural flavorings like fruits, herbs or spices worked really well. Then I discovered the amazing sugar alternative, Equal, which changed my Southern sweet tea sipp’n days forever… for the better!
In addition to being a fabulous alternative for those of us watching our diet, Equal® 0-calorie Sweetener is a great option for people living with diabetes, who want to replace or reduce sugar intake and keep their blood glucose levels in check. I find that many of my guests truly appreciate these features!
Now, for Northerners (what we call anyone who is not in the lower Southern states… so heads up Western and Upper North-Eastern states, this includes you, too) there is an art to making Southern sweet tea which first, and most importantly includes having it on-hand at all time to offer neighbors, relatives and even the electric meter reader on a hot summer day. This is achieved by brewing large batches (around a gallon at a time) that are stored in the refrigerator for daily use.
How long you brew the tea before cooling is up to your personal preference, but do keep your guests’ preferences in consideration. As I prefer brewing long for a dark, robust tea, I often brew a second batch for a shorter length of time to serve to others who like a bit lighter fare.
You can simply leave the tea plain and add sugar, or in my case Equal-to-taste and then store it in the refrigerator overnight. The key is to be sure your sweet tea is properly cold through and through before serving. Ice should not melt in your tea (that’s a big no-no!) It should properly compliment it!
Since I’ve experimented with plenty of seasonings over the years, I like to kick things up a notch by making one of my favorite recipes like Southern Sweet Tea with Rosemary and Lemon.
Other combinations I enjoy are lemon and fresh mint, orange and sage, or lime and basil. Just swap out the lemon with your preferred choice of citrus or the rosemary with your favorite fresh herb to mix up new and exciting flavor combinations!
Once you begin your sweet tea journey, you’ll want to make more and more! And the best part, with Equal, enjoyment is pretty much guilt-free!
In fact, Equal lets me enjoy plenty of my other Southern favorite Spring and Summer drinks like fresh lemonade or one of my all-time go-to quenchers of grapefruit lemonade, which is great for times I’m working on slimming down (this citrus duo offers a wonderful detox-boosting punch and Equal sweeteners keep things from getting too sour!)
What is your Southern sweet tea style? Embrace Your Taste with Equal, learn more and find additional recipes at http://www.equal.com/
Thanks to the sweet folks at Equal, one (1) Rural Mom reader will win a special “Embrace Your Taste” Kit that includes fun coffee, tea and Equal products for you to find your favorite drink style!
ENTER via the Rafflecopter below: