close-up photo of H. Weal, co-author of The Weal MealBottled iced teas for me are very hit or miss – usually either too sweet or not sweet enough. So, when I want iced tea at home, I tend to make it myself. My first few attempts at a lightly sweetened homebrew always came out with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I didn’t want to add more sugar to mask it, so I went to the web and discovered that this is caused by the tannins in the tea and that baking soda can effectively neutralize it. Black tea is my favorite, but this recipe works just as well to make iced green tea too. — H. Weal

INGREDIENTS
8 cups water, divided
4 teabags black tea
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

TOOLS
small (1-quart) pot, with lid
measuring cups and spoons
cooking spoon
2-quart pitcher

METHOD
1. Heat 2 cups water in pot over high heat. Remove from heat when water just begins to simmer.
2. Add teabags and baking soda, then cover with lid. Let steep 5 minutes.
3. Discard teabags. Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.
4. Pour sweetened tea into pitcher. Add remaining water.
5. Refrigerate until cold.

NOTES & TIPS
• Take care to add the baking soda and sugar while the tea is still hot; those ingredients won’t blend well once the tea has cooled.
BONUS RECIPE: Half-and-half (AKA Arnold Palmer): Make this recipe, make lemonade, then pour both into a 1-gallon pitcher.

READY IN
15 minutes

YIELD
2 quarts