November 5, 2010
Confessions of a Tea Drinker
My Southern roots run deep. When my ancestors immigrated to America, they settled in the South. My parents were born and bred in the South. Except for the 10 years I lived overseas when my dad was in the service and the year I lived in New York City as an adult, the rest of my life has been spent South of the Mason Dixon line. Given my Southern heritage, it's surprising I didn't like the most quintessential Southern beverage, iced tea, until a few years ago.
Like most Southerners, my mom served ice tea at lunch and supper. Even with this early exposure to tea, I never could acquire a taste for the beverage. As I got older and attended more functions where tea was being served, I had opportunities to try the beverage in various forms: sun tea, sweetened tea, unsweetened tea, tea with lemon juice, tea without lemon juice, hot tea and even instant tea. No matter how it was prepared, I just didn't like it.
Ten years ago, I was at a function and Fruit Tea was being served. It was a typical sultry Southern day and the tea looked inviting so I tried a glass. Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved it. The hostess graciously shared the recipe with me and I've been making it ever since.
Why am I talking about tea now that the weather's cooler? Two reasons. First, Southerners drink tea year round. Second, the holidays are rapidly approaching and no family function would be complete if I didn't make Fruit Tea.
The recipe for Fruit Tea is nothing more than sweet tea with a couple of extra ingredients. It's the addition of pineapple juice, lemon juice and ginger ale that turned me into a tea drinker! When someone drinks the tea for the first time, I'm always asked what makes it so effervescent. There's been a lot of guesses, but no one has ever guessed ginger ale.
One batch of Fruit Tea makes eight servings. If I'm making tea for a crowd, I make several batches, but I make them one at a time. The tea is best made the day it's being served because the pineapple pulp settles at the bottom after a day or two. If there's any leftover tea, I strain it to remove the pulp before I drink it.
2 1/2 cups water
2 family size tea bags
1 cup sugar
2 (6 oz.) cans pineapple juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 (12 oz.) cans ginger ale
Bring water to a boil. Pour over tea bags; cover and steep 5 minutes. Pour tea over sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients; stir well. Refrigerate.
© Margaret's Morsels