Recipe Box: Summertime Sipping


When Mama was a little girl, summertime in Texas always meant a couple of things: 90° heat even after the sun set, the constant buzzing of cicadas, and sun tea “brewing” outside on the patio table.

It still is hot, and the cicadas still sing… but if you’re still brewing that tea outside, no matter where you are: Stop!

I dropped by a neighbor’s house today and she offered me a glass of her specialty: Raspberry Lemon Sun Tea. Sounds delicious and refreshing, doesn’t it? She says the big glass container never moves all summer from the sunny spot on her porch. She just keeps adding water, tea bags and fresh fruit when needed. She says she loads her glass with ice cubes and drinks the tea all day.

Really? With all the fermentation going on there… not to mention not washing the container all summer… it’s probably more like moonshine than sun tea. No wonder she’s the happiest mom on the block.

I was never really into the whole sun tea thing. I tried to do it, but I always forgot about it, so my sun tea ended up really dark and thick. Sort of like Sun Mud. Then I read a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that sun tea is a breeding ground for bacteria because the water never gets hot enough to kill the pathogens.

Nothing scares Mama more (besides rats) than those four words: breeding ground for bacteria.

The CDC report went on with more blah blah, about making sure the dispenser (especially the little faucet in those sun tea urns) is clean and disinfected before a new batch is made and that the tea shouldn’t be stored too long. Let’s all agree that my neighbor’s tea wouldn’t pass the CDC inspection.

Berry 'n Peach Overnight Iced Tea

But there’s nothing like a large glass of iced tea on a blistering hot day. The caffeine gives you the jump-start you may need and the ice just cools you down, all the way to your toes. But how can you do it without heating up the kitchen?

Easy. Make the tea overnight in the refrigerator…and leave the moonshine to people who really know what their doing.

That’s nice sipping!










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posted under The Kitchen Think

2 thoughts on “Recipe Box: Summertime Sipping

  1. Cyncity

    I would boil the tea bags 1st in shallow water for at least a min to start the brewing process. Then I would dump that into the 4-quart or larger pitcher, fill with fruit, etc, & tops with water. Put that in the fridge overnight. Just a suggestion. 😉

    1. Mama Post author

      This is a great idea and it certainly will jump start the brewing process… I was just trying to avoid turning on the stove!


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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: