House Wine-Part I

Preferred House Wines of the Witches of Rosethorn Manor

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othing quite quenches the taste buds on a hot day than iced tea.  People all over the world have some form of tea obsession.  At Rosethorn Manor, the house wine-nectar of the Goddess is tea.  We drink it year round for slaking our thirst, warming up, cooling off, comfort and healing.  Opinions in our house are split between the herbal sun tea and southern sweet tea (ask any southerner or my son and the world just isn’t right without some sweet tea).

We grew up drinking iced tea in the summer with crushed mint from my Grandma’s garden and I just couldn’t get enough of it.  However, it had very little if any sugar in it.  Sugar just wasn’t something my sis and I had much of growing up and I never really developed a taste for it.

Fast forward into the future 20 years….I’m in college the second time around…….and along comes a Virginia Boy.  Well, this Virginia Boy and I become fast friends and he waxes on about his Mamma’s southern sweet tea…he can’t find it anywhere up here in the north, people have tried and nobody, but nobody can make tea like a southerner he tells me.  Well, having spent time in Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, I can attest to the fact that this Virginia Boy is correct, our tea is not made so sweet~as that is known as hummingbird water up here in the Pacific Northwest.  BUT…this boy has thrown down the gauntlet and I am not known for walking away from a challenge (and I’m just plain tired of hearing him whine about tea).  Off I go, bound and determined to conjure this homesick boy some Southern Sweet Tea.  Now mind you…..this witch can cook and this witch can conjure, so this witch is pretty darned good at figuring recipes out.

Down the road a couple batches and I am just not getting the recipe correct and it’s making me a little pissy (this was in the day before everything was all over the internet).  It was never sweet enough and something was just a little off.  I asked this Virginia Boy what was in the recipe and how much of what?  He said he didn’t know as he’d never made it, but he knew it when he tasted it.  Finally, I broke down and asked if his Mamma could possibly be sweet-talked into parting with her Sweet Tea recipe?  The Virginia Boy gets on the horn with his Mamma, who very graciously parts with her recipe.  What was the missing ingredient you ask?    Baking soda and waaaaay, way more sugar than I was using.  The finished product was actually something I couldn’t quite stomach too much of, but it was taste-tested by the Virginia Boy, who said it tasted just like his Mamma’s.   I did tease him and reminded him I was a northerner.  The Virginia Boy just smiled and told me I must have a southerner’s heart to make southern sweet tea.  I will admit the baking soda threw me for a loop, however it does really smooth out the flavors of the tea.

The recipe for this Southern Sweet Tea is as follows:

6-7 tea bags-(Liptan is okay, but Luzianne in the red box is better and trust me, it does make a difference in flavor, I don’t know why)

1 1/2 -2 cups of sugar

Place these in a bowl or 4 cup measure and pour boiling water to the top.  Stir the sugar until dissolved. When somewhat cooled add a pinch of baking soda and stir.
Garnish with fresh mint or lemon

Now….in reality, I just cannot make the tea with this much sugar.  My husband doesn’t like things so sweet either, however, I have a teenage son who believes the more sugar the better.  For years I got away with making it with a lot less sugar,  though my son just returned from visiting family in South Carolina and has experienced the difference.  Since I can no longer pull the reduced-sugar wool over his eyes, I make it with a combination of sugar and stevia or just stevia.  I know southerners are probably rolling their eyes skyward, but as I said-in this house that’s hummingbird water.  We still love us some Southern Sweet Tea though.

Southern Sweet Tea and Herbal Tisane

House Wines @ Rosethorn Manor

To see the second preferred house wine by the Witches of Rosethorn Manor please continue to House Wine Part II