Homemade Iced Tea (the Mexican way!)

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My junior year of college I spent a semester exchange at the University of Texas in San Antonio.  Some of the best memories of my life were made there.  And some of my best friends, to this day, were made there too.

But, I’ve got to tell you, I thought I loved Mexican food before I went there, but this little French girl didn’t even know what real Mexican food was!

My experience living with Mexican roommates and my best friends in the world being Mexican opened my eyes and expanded my palate.

And I’ve never been the same.

I crave Mexican food all the time.  Almost as much as I crave sweets.  Or chocolate.  Or French food.  Or…well, I just love food.  But, Mexican food has got a special spot in my heart…

One of the things I remember vividly about living closely and visiting with so many Mexican families was their beverages.  Not of the alcoholic variety, although those were fun too!

No, I remember the iced tea served at every home, and at every Mexican restaurant with all the meals.  It was so unbelievably delicious.  And a perfect paring with the salsas and guacamole and chiles and tortillas, etc, etc.  Refreshing, sweet and homemade.

Nothing beats it and actually nothing even comes close.  And I have done many a taste test.  I have spent oodles of money trying different cans and bottles of ice tea; from Arizona ice tea, to their sweet tea, to Snapple’s, to Lipton’s, to Honest Tea, Tazo, Pure Leaf, Nestea, etc.  None compare.  None.

Here is the super secret recipe for Iced Tea, the Mexican way.  You can send me smooches once you’ve finished inhaling that first cold tall glass of it…

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Ok, you will need a 2 quart pitcher to start with.

Here’s the one that resides in our fridge full time.  And if you look closely enough in the pictures you’ll be able to see that it is permanently stained with tea…

but that’s how we roll here…we have always 2 quarts of fresh-brewed iced tea at our house.  It’s a staple.

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Next fill a large measuring cup to almost the top, with cold tap water.

Heat it in the microwave for at least 10 minutes, or fill a tea kettle and bring it to a boil that way.

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Get yourself a box of Red Rose tea bags.

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Grab 3, hand them over the edge of the pitcher, and pour in the boiling water…

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Allow to steep for at least 15 minutes…

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till it turns a nice auburn color and the lovely smell of fresh brewed tea starts to waft under your nose.

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Add 1 cup of white sugar.  Don’t skimp…it won’t taste right, I promise.

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Stir with long wooden spoon, until all the sugar is dissolved,

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Place the lid on the pitcher, with the tea bags still inside, and place in the refrigerator.  Allow 24 hours to steep, at least, before removing the tea bags.  (I’ve left them in there for 3 days and they just made the tea better with each passing day!)

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Serve ice cold; meaning, after it’s been refrigerated at least a day.  You want to avoid putting this on ice, or it will completely dilute the flavor.

The Mexican households I frequented usually served this with a wedge of lime, but you can use lemon, or it’s perfect completely on its own!

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

 

 

 

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