Good morning friends, and thank you for meeting me (Julie) here today, At the Picket Fence. In case you didn’t know, I am a monthly contributor here for Vanessa & Heather and I am very honored to be a part of their team. If you are interested in following my blog where I am busy decorating & cooking in Michigan, you can follow along here —-> Redhead Can Decorate. Since we are in the middle of Summer, I thought today might be the perfect time to share my Mom’s homemade “Sun Tea Recipe” and story with you. I hope you are thirsty.
Iced tea can have so many different meanings for folks depending on where they live, or where they are from. I grew up in a small town in Western New York near Niagara Falls, called Grand Island. Yes, it actually is an island and there are 2 bridges that go over the Niagara River that surrounds the island. Summers were hot, and at one point we lived in an apartment building on the very top floor. Luckily, we did have air conditioning but it wasn’t the fancy central air kind that so many of us are used to today. I still remember the sound the big chunky air conditioner in the wall made in our living room when it would get really humid out. We would shut the sliding glass door to the balcony, and shut the windows and you would have to turn “General Hospital” up really loud to hear it 😀 . As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, I remember shutting the bedroom and bathroom doors too, so the cool air would stay in the front of the apartment. Oh, I could tell you lots of fun vintage apartment stories about green shag rugs, and yellow appliances, but I better stick to the sun tea recipe.
I give all the credit to my 83 year old Mom for this sun tea recipe. She’s actually been very ill, but has pulled through, so it feels very nice to be telling you a story about her today. You see, the reason I brought up the 1970-80’s apartment because that is where I remember my Mom brewing her sun tea. So now you are probably wondering how in the heck did she do that from a third floor apartment? Well, it was the balcony of course. Can you picture it? It was a tiny balcony that was located off of the dining area and my Dad put a regular sized picnic table out there for us to eat on. We only had 1 bench that could fit, but hey, it worked! Eating was very important in our house :-).
So, my Mom’s “iced tea bell” must have went off when she realized how sunny it was out there during the afternoon with the sun hitting the picnic table just right for hours. She would brew her tea on that red wood picnic table, on that tiny balcony, in that hot apartment building often. How smart, right? I mean, all it takes is a couple tea bags, lemon if you have it, and water (see full recipe below). Oh, and of course the sun. I should also add that Joanne (that’s my Mom) used a really cute clear glass drink dispenser that had painted lemon slices on it. So, anyhow this tea was and still is absolutely amazing, just like my Mom. I really hope you try it.
SUN TEA RECIPE
Add 6-8 tea bags of your choice (no need for the cold water tea bags in my opinion).
Remove the paper tag on the tea bag. I used black decaf in the picture. Then wash your lemon, slice it up and add it to the water.
Find a sunny location and let it sit for hours (at least 2)
I use my deck post and love to watch it steep from my kitchen window.
If you add enough lemon there is no sugar needed, but feel free to add your favorite sugar.
Chill and serve over ice. (should last if refrigerated for 4-5 days)
This sun tea would be so delicious with lavender simple syrup added in for a touch of sweetness. Get the recipe here!