No southern party is complete without sweet tea and lemonade! Here are the recipes I used for our North Carolina party theme over the weekend. I doubled each recipe to end up with a gallon of each.
To make Minty Sweet Tea: (1/2 gallon) put 4-6 regular sized tea bags (or 2-3 family size bags) in 2 cups of water. Add 3-4 stalks of fresh mint (maybe 1/2 cup) and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, turn off heat, and let sit for a while (10 minutes? 1 hour? Depends on what else you've got going on.)
Squeeze out tea bags and mint; discard. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, return to the stove top and heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour over ice, and stir together with enough water to equal 1/2 gallon (2 quarts).
To make Fresh Lemonade: (1/2 gallon) Combine 2 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a saucepan; bring to a boil and stir until sugar is melted. Remove from heat. Cover and cool at room temperature. Pour into a 2 quart pitcher and stir in 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and enough water and ice to make 2 quarts. Serve immediately.
You know how I mentioned a while back that I had a game for the state-themed party? Well, in a moment of panic, I realized that a game meant prizes. At the time I realized this, I was stirring some tea in a pitcher. So, I decided to make "Make Your Own Sweet Tea" party prizes, with tea bags, sugar, and directions in a brown paper bag. I thought it was pretty cute.
But we never got around to playing the game, so these little favors are still sitting in my kitchen.