· By Dana Schoonover

Southern Water: How to make the best Iced Tea

I grew up in a house divided. No, it wasn't some epic Southern family feud, my parents did not agree on the proper way to make iced tea.

Sugar was the sticking point (pun intended) for my mother and dad. Daddy felt that only 1 tablespoon of sugar should be added per gallon of tea, and my mother believed in tea so sweet it would make your teeth hurt. This is how we came to have 2 giant pitchers of iced tea in the refrigerator at all times - it was either that or divorce.

I'll admit that growing up I drank the sweet stuff and have the fillings to prove it, but after spending more of my life outside Tennessee than I did as a resident, I have come to make tea the way my father always did. 

If you'd like to make a pitcher or two this Summer, here's the way I recommend doing it:

Start with the following;

3 quart pot

3 Lipton Iced Tea bags

1/2 tablespoon sugar

Fill your pot with water and tea bags and bring to a boil for 2-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep for 5-10 minutes. While you are steeping add the sugar (always add sugar while the tea is hot otherwise sugar won't dissolve) Take out the tea bags, but continue letting the tea cool before poring into your favorite pitcher. Top off with 2-3 cups of water and mix. DO NOT add too much water, tea should be dark brown, not the ridiculous yellow stuff that most restaurants serve.

Alright, now drink this delicious elixir all day, preferably on your porch and wave to your neighbors as they pass. If you're feeling especially gracious, offer them a glass!