Sweet Tea is a staple here in the south. It’s offered pretty much everywhere and it’s usually branded “southern style” which in some cases means so sweet it almost syrupy. I remember my mom telling me about my great-grandmother and the tea she used to make. My mom swears it was and still is the best tea she has ever had. My great-grandmother used to make Sun Tea. You pour water into a glass pitcher or container and add the tea bags and sit the pitcher in a nice sunny spot and watch the magic happen. Every ice cold glass was not complete until she dropped a few mint leaves in each glass which she grew right the bottom of her front porch steps. You can’t get more refreshing than that and you can’t beat memories like that either.
I enjoy iced tea a lot too, although to be honest I don’t really like a lot of the overly sweet versions that most place offer so I tend to go for unsweetened tea when I go out. I think one of the funniest experiences I had was ordering my food and when it came time to order my beverage I politely asked the lady behind the counter for “unsweetened tea, please” and I swear it seemed like the entire restaurant stopped and the girl behind the counter said “Did you say unsweetened?, Are you sure?”. It’s almost blasphemous to order unsweetened tea in the south. I however find it quite hilarious when I get that reaction. This of course means I have to keep ordering it.
I’ve been patiently awaiting the hot months so I can dust off the ice cream maker and get inspired to come up with some fun frozen treat recipes, and I’m thinking what better way to break it back in than making sweet tea in frozen form. And before you panic …IT IS NOT UNSWEETENED PEOPLE! It is definitely sweet, smooth and refreshing.
Sweet Tea Sorbet
3 cups water
2 family size tea bags
2 cups sugar
½ cup lemon juice
1 bunch fresh mint
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. As soon as water begins to boil, remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow tea to steep and turn dark amber color ( I prefer stronger tea, but if you don’t you can use one tea bag) about 30 minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of the brewed tea and set aside. Put the saucepan with the remaining tea back onto the stove and add the 2 cups sugar and bring to a boil for 1 minute making sure the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from the heat again and drop in the mint. Allow the mint to steep and the mixture to become completely cool.
- Strain and stir in the reserved 1 cup of brewed tea and the lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instruction. About 30-40 minutes.
- Scrape the mixture into a chilled container and freeze until hardened or until ready to serve.