Sweet Citrus Sun Tea
Gigantic, gallon pickle jars were not scarce in a family with 6 kids and we had several in rotation to make sun tea. Eight little tea bag strings hanging out under the lid and sitting on top of our grill. That is what I see in my head. 🙂 As a child, I used to love to sit and watch the water slowly warm up, the copper stain of the tea spreading down and darkening the liquid. That jar was toasty warm after a few hours!
I know it isn’t the most convenient or speedy way to make tea, but it is economical, fun, and I swear it tastes better! I mean, sweet tea made with solar power? Can it get much cooler?
Actually it can. While I used to be a kind of sweet tea purist (yes, even Minnesotans drink sweet tea) I have recently been kind of addicted to excessive amounts of citrus in my drinks. I really love Arnold Palmers (50/50 sweet tea and lemonade) and I just decided top stop messing around and give my tea the lemon kick from the beginning. Hence, this citrus sweet tea. Easy, thirst quenching, and totally customizable to your tastes. Now that summer is just around the corner, embrace the 90 degree days and be prepared! Sweet Citrus Sun Tea
Citrus Tea: Fill a glass, gallon sized container (like a pickle jar) with water and float 8 black tea bags on the top. Slice one lemon and one orange (or two lemons or two oranges or two limes etc) and add to the water. Seal with the lid and let steep outside, in the sunshine (duh) and until the tea is dark and warm. This will take a few hours, but don’t let it steep all day or it will get kind of bitter. And no, cloudy days don’t really work for this, for obvious reasons! 🙂 When it is finished, remove and discard the tea bags and the citrus slices. Pour the tea into a pitcher, sweeten if desired (see below), and add fresh slices of citrus just before serving. Enjoy!
Note: This is the BEST sweetener of iced tea. I used it all summer in various drinks and it will keep almost indefinitely in the fridge!
Simple Syrup: Equal parts water and sugar, heated together until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool to room temp and then store in the fridge in an sealed container! Use as much or as little as you like! Enjoy!