Porch sitting is one of our favorite past-times here on Chincoteague Island. There is nothing that I enjoy more than sitting on our front porch, enjoying a cold glass of iced tea, and watching the world go by.
I always brew my own, using those big family-style tea bags. Making a pitcher of sweet tea is always on my “to-do” list for the afternoon. Also with making my own, I can control the sugar. So many sweet teas are just so cloyingly sweet, they hurt your teeth. And, homey don’t play that.
I also like to switch it up with flavored tea bags (the mango black tea from Trader Joe’s is amazing!), or if delicious fruit is in season – some fresh fruit puree. One of my favorite places to eat here on the island (the lovely Sea Star Cafe) has a different flavored tea on the menu everyday, and I love that…I always look forward to seeing what new flavor combo is on the menu that day!
I had some blackberries hanging out that needed to be used, so I gave them a quick blitz in the food processor and dumped it right into the tea. If seeds bother you, feel free to strain them out…but I love seeing the fruity pulp and seeds in the tea, let’s you know it’s the real deal!
Blackberry Sweet Tea
3 family-size tea bags (or 10 regular)
6 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup blackberries
sliced lemon, for garnish
fresh mint, for garnish
Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan. Once you have a rolling boil, dunk in the tea bags a few times to get wet, and remove from heat. Let tea bags steep 1 hour.
Remove tea bags and pour in sugar, stirring well until dissolved. Pour into a glass pitcher, and add remaining water.
Puree blackberries and add them to the tea, stirring to combine.
Serve in glasses filled with ice, and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.