When I moved to Boston from South Carolina, I would on occasion go into otherwise-reputable restaurants and order sweet tea, just on principle. Most of the time, the server would give me a confused look and say, "I can bring you sugar with your iced tea..." and I would then explain how proper sweet tea is made.
It's dead-simple: make tea and put the sugar in while it's hot, then cool and ice it. That's all. Maybe some mint, maybe a bit of lemon.
But some sort of magic happens, and you end up with a pitcher of this beverage about which poems are written, which brings to mind slow lazy sitting-on-the-porch days and gracefully sprawling oak trees, which prompted legislators in Georgia to try to pass a law decreeing that any restaurant that offered iced tea on the menu had to offer sweet tea
. God rested on the seventh day, but early in the morning, before the sun strained into the Southern sky, she made sweet tea from scratch. She boiled the water in a black kettle, put in the orange pekoe bags and let them stand as the water perked, and then she did what gods know what to do: she heaped in the Dixie Crystal sugar while the brew was still warm as the day.
- From "Sweet Tea", by John Lane