There are many things that us Southerners do that may be a mystery to those of you not blessed to live in the deep, deep South.
We teach our children to address everyone as “Ma’am” and “Sir.”
(Or at least we try. Ali has been forgetting this necessary rule constantly. When confronted about her lack of southern manners, she claims that she’s lost her ma’ams and sirs. She allegedly misplaced them last time we were at the her Aunt Kitty and Uncle Leo’s house on the coast, and it will take a beach trip to fetch them. Convenient.)
We eat fried pickles, fried okra, grits, and cornbread.
We don’t say things like “Bless Your Heart,” because we know that’s really the southern way of presenting one your middle finger.
And we drink sweet tea.
Sweet Tea is to the south like Bagels are to New York City: it’s hard to make it right anywhere else. Mainly because the brands are all wrong. I’ve gotten the nasty Lipton-in-a-can, and it’s nothing like our iced tea – in fact, it’s closer to what our tea tastes like after it’s rotted.
My own sweet tea journey has had it’s twists and turns. I grew up drinking sweet tea continuously, switched to decaf sweet tea when I got to be an adult and acquired sleeping issues, and switched to decaf unsweet tea when I was pregnant with Noah and could not drink anything that was remotely sweet due to his impressive gifts of nausea.
But even if it is unsweet, it still must be made right. And, if I may brag for a minute, I make a darn good gallon of tea, whether sweet or not.
Anytime someone comes over, they compliment me on my brew, then ask me how I make it.
And my first question is always, “Do you use Luzianne?”
And they usually say “No.”
And I say, “Oh – well that’s the key.”
Because I have literally never bought a box of tea that wasn’t Luzianne – nor did my Mother before me. It is the one and only – the true and genuine sweet tea.
My other keys to a good brew are:
- I have a dedicated coffee maker that I use for nothing but brewing tea. (I use my beloved Keurig for coffee making.) If you don’t have a dedicated coffee maker, you can boil water on the stove and let the tea bags seep in it for about 10 minutes.
- I use three family-sized tea bags per gallon. A hearty brew is important.
- When making sweet tea, I add 3/4 cup of sugar to each gallon – not too sweet – just right.
- I add in a giant amount of ice, and I serve in a Tervis Tumbler – to keep my drink as cold as possible with as little ice melt, and therefore wateriness, as possible.
So when Luzianne friended me on Twitter and asked if I’d like for them to send me a box, I said, “Sure, but I’d rather you send me some to give away to my readers – my Non-Southern readers need to experience sweet tea like it was meant to be!”
So they sent me two cases of tea to give to you, as well as a whole bunch of free tea coupons to give to those of you who live in the South and have access to their tea already.
So. If you want to try The Nectar of the South, leave a comment and tell me something that is culturally unique about your area. I’ll send a box of regular tea and a box of green tea out to eleven of you that I’ll randomly select from the comments.
If you are in the South and have access to Luzianne in your stores, leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing about the south – I’ll send coupons for six FREE boxes of tea out to four of you.
And those of you not in the south will be hooked. And will want to move to the south so that you can eat fried pickles and fried okra with your perfect glass of tea.
This giveaway will be open until Monday, September 24. I will announce the winner Tuesday, September 25 on my Giveaway Winners Page.
Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post, and my opinions are obviously my own since I asked Luzianne for the product. I didn’t even keep any of the tea they sent me, except for one box of the Green Tea because I wanted to try it. It was awesome! Also, if you happen to know that cases of tea have 12 boxes and wonder what happened to the other box in the regular case, I’ll probably send send out to one of you as a bonus. Because I’m nice like that. How’s that for a disclosure, FTC?