|Palace Cafe Ice Tea for National Ice Tea Day|
To put this in perspective, it was the 80’s. In the north we drank “hot” tea, and in the south, the tea of choice was “sweet” ice tea. Once, while traveling to Florida, we stopped to eat. It was a damp cool day. I asked for a cup of hot tea. The waitress gave me a strange look and said, "they had no hot tea". I was astounded and asked, "don’t you have tea bags?" I told her to bring me a tea bag with a cup of boiling water. She then told me that their bags were just for ice tea. Really? She then said, she would see what she could do. What she did, was bring me a cup of “sweet” tea that she heated in the microwave. To anyone who savors their tea, that is not how you make a proper cup. True story!
Through the years our food cultures have somewhat melded. You can now ask for hot tea in most Southern restaurants, and you can get ice tea in most northern restaurants. Don’t expect really great Southern sweet tea up north, though. The north still hasn’t caught up with the “sweet” tea thing! They mostly serve it unsweetened, so you have to add your own sugar, which never dissolves. And, they never refill! Free refills are so cool!
|Pour yourself a glass, and sit back|
Last October, while in New Orleans waiting out Hurricane Sandy, we ate at a wonderful restaurant called the Palace Cafe, owned by Dickie Brennan. The Brennans are well known Restauranteurs in New Orleans. The Commander’s Palace, Brennan’s and Dickie Brennan’s Steak House to name just a few. The food at the Palace was incredibly delicious, and the service impeccable. However, the thing that stood out in my mind, was their amazing ice tea. It was a black tea with mint, and I thought the waitress said rosemary. I thought of that delicious tea for several weeks. I finally sent an e-mail, to the Palace Cafe, requesting the recipe, never expecting an answer. A few days later, I received a lovely note via e-mail with the recipe. Every time I make it for friends and family, it gets great reviews!
Whether you like your ice tea “sweet” or “unsweet”, flavored or unflavored, black, green, white or red; I hope you’ll take some time to enjoy National Ice Tea Day! Sit back and enjoy a glass of your favorite or, try this lovely recipe from the Palace Cafe!
|Rosemary and Mint|
|Brewing the tea|
|Steeping the herbs|
|Enjoy Ice Tea Day and make yourself a pitcher!|
The Best Southern Ice Tea
6 regular tea bags
2 cups boiling water
1 cup of sugar (I use only ½-¾ cup)
6 cups cold water
1. Place the tea bags in a large measuring cup.2. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags.
3. Cover and steep for 10 minutes
4. Take out the tea bags (do not squeeze them)
5. Add the sugar and stir
6. Pour the tea mixture into a 2 quart pitcher.
7. Add the cold water and serve over ice.
Palace Cafe Ice Tea
I only make half this recipe and use about a cup of sugar for a gallon.
2 gallons fresh brewed tea
1 pound sugar (or desired sweetness) mixed with 1 cup scalding water (to melt sugar and make a syrup)
1 bunch mint leaves (no stems - makes it bitter)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Chop mint leaves and rosemary then steep in 2 cups scalding water for 10 minutes then strain.
Mix all ingredients together, chill and serve.
|The Palace Cafe…if you get to New Orleans, give it a try|
|Our wonderful waiter and rest of wait staff|
|The decor was lovely, the mood relaxing|
|This was my delicious Catfish Pecan|