Today is National Tea Day. However, since I really don’t think “tea” without “sweet” is an actual thing, we’ll just call it Sweet Tea Day and be good with that, right? Of course.
Now, you would think I would celebrate sweet tea day by having a big ole’ glass of, yes, you guessed it, sweet tea. However, today we’re drinking water. Yes. I’m having water to celebrate tea day. You see, I’m trying really hard to slim down and be healthier by this time next year, and at some point you have to stop saying, “well there’s this holiday coming up, or that holiday is coming up.” At some point you just have to start! God doesn’t require us to be thin, but for us to be our best US, we need to be healthy!
I sat down and looked at where all of my calories come from. *Easily,* this girl consumes about 1,000 calories a day in sweet tea and milk. So this month, I’m eliminating sweet tea completely and limiting milk to one glass or serving a day. It’s my own personal post-Lent Lent.
But just because I am giving up sweet tea on National Tea Day doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, I’m going to give you the most amazing gift. I actually got this recipe from a great friend, Samantha, when I did a Thirty-One party at her house. (One of several recipes that I have been graciously given by my hostesses over the years!) She (Samantha) is the sweetest thing and of course, she shared it with me!
That was a couple of years ago and this thing is a STAPLE for every party we have and every start-of-summer kickoff, so much so that when I made it out of the blue last week, LM asked, “Are we having a party?”
No. We’re just having tea.
And the great thing is, when I make it, it reminds me of her, and her generosity, and how to be the perfect hostess, sharing your home AND your sweet tea with others.
So here it is. Drink some for you, and for me. I’m saving my cup for the next party.
You’ll need: a big pitcher.
A pitcher of homemade sweet tea that you’ve already made OR a gallon of pre-made sweet tea. We love Publix sweet tea, and in a pinch, Milo’s isn’t horrible. It’s not Publix, but it’ll do.
One frozen can of concentrated Pineapple Orange juice.
If they don’t have this in your store, substitute one frozen can of pineapple juice concentrate, and a medium jug of Simply Orange juice. You will only use about half of each of these for a pitcher.
***A sprig of mint leaves. Now listen. You might think you can leave the mint leaves at home. POPPYCOCK!!! Git you some mint leaves. (Do you see the southern woman in me, rising up, raising my eyebrow at you? Just get them, okay?)
Now in your empty pitcher, you’re going to pour half of the gallon of tea. Then you’re going to take half of that frozen concentrated pineapple orange juice and stir it in. It’s going to look completely unappetizing. Like dirty muddy water. But just wait.
Add some water. Up to the normally full pitcher line. Stir. Keep stirring. It should turn a lot lighter, from muddy dirt water into the color of say, bright orange’s more muted cousin, peach. Like the color of a peach sweater, which we all know does not actually look like a peach. So it should look peachy but be cloudy like orange juice, not clear like the tea. Make sense? Oh lawrduvmercy.
Take a sip.
It should taste sweet, fruity, and not too thick.
Now get a glass and fill it with ice.
Pour your drink over the ice.
Add 3 mint leaves. <------ This. Do not forget this. You could forget the tea but do NOT under any circumstances, Do.Not.Skip.the.Mint.Leaves. Swish around for a minute in the glass. Drink. It will taste like summer. And childhood. And forgiveness. And innocence. And no matter where you live you will instantly be whisked away to a scenic backdrop of weeping willows and flowering cherry trees. Now the next time we have a party, I solemnly VOW to take pictures, so you tell how peachy and cloudy and muddy you should be (but in reverse order) but for TODAY, National Sweet Tea day, you are stuck encouraging me to drink this lovely cup of NOT SWEET TEA. Doesn't it look lovely?
Here’s to a healthier NEXT summer.
Cheering for you,