My mother in law makes some killer sweet tea. Lemon is not in her recipe. But I love lemon. My husband is uber-health conscious, but he always sucks down her sweet tea without guilt.
It never fails to amuse me that when we cross into arkansas, being that close to route 40 has such a profound effect on his eating habits. I made this for the last "party" I threw, which was a lousy event/occasion, but I needed some sugar available to mainline.
It also had the benefit of being a dish made with love by a mom dear to me, so it had a comforting effect. This tea is sweet. Sweet. Sweet. And addictive. The baking soda neutralizes the acidity, and removes any bitterness. It goes down easy!
You have been warned.
Adapted from my mother-in-law, Tina
inspired by Jennifer Rather --Ezra Pound Cake
3 family sized bags or 12 regular size bags of luzianne or lipton tea
12 cups water
1 - 1/2 or 2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 lemon, halved; optional
Measure about 4 cups of water into a pan, and bring to a boil.
Place 4 cups of boiling water into a pitcher, and place tea bags in water. Add the baking soda and sugar.
Let it sit and steep for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags, but do not squeeze them- it adds bitterness.
Add remaining 8 cups cold water and the juice of half a lemon (or to taste).
Slice remaining lemon half into wedges, and serve with tea.