blackberry iced tea


I feel like I’ve said this around here before, but despite being deeply Southern I am also deeply not really a fan of iced tea.  I mean, if it were all there were to drink I would survive.  But I’d always prefer water.  Iced tea usually tastes a little bitter for me.  And even when it is as sweet as can be it tastes a little like something bitter trying to be sweet but watered down, which I guess is basically what it actually is.

But this tea, this tea full of sugar and blackberries, is like nectar.  In fact, to go with a meal it could perhaps use a little watering down.  The blackberries add that fruitiness that I think is so lovely in tea, and oh yes, there is sugar.  It takes a little work to make.  The tea has to be steeped and then allowed to relax in the blackberries and sugar.  It has to be strained, and having it chilled is of course nice.

It is worth it though.  For a party you’re having or just for your weekend, this kind of drink makes things feel special.  And not that I’m trying to suggest things, but I’m pretty sure this would go well with a liquor of your choice.

Blackberry Ice Tea
from the All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Wait Time: 1 hour

Makes 7 cups

3 cups fresh blackberries (or frozen, thawed)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Pinch of baking soda
4 cups water
3 family-sized tea bags
2 1/2 cups sparkling water or cold water

1. Combine the blackberries and sugar in a large container (preferably one with a spout).  Crush the blackberries with a wooden spoon and stir to mix the sugar in.  Add the mint and baking soda, and stir it in.  Set aside.
2. Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil.  Pour over the tea bags in a large pitcher.  Let the tea steep for about 3 minutes, then discard the tea bags and pour the tea mixture over the blackberries.  Let stand for 1 hour.
3. Pour the tea mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a large pitcher.  Throw away the leftover blackberries.  Add the 2 1/2 cups cold or sparkling water to the tea, and stir to combine.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  If desired, garnish with fresh blackberries or mint sprigs.

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