A Sparkling Vintage Life

iced teaMonday, when I started working on this post, was a perfect iced-tea day in northern Idaho: hot, sunny, summery. Today, not so much, as we’re experiencing cold and rain–“March: The Sequel.” Still, I’m forging ahead with my iced-tea post because (a) it’s written and (b) I have hope that summer is just around the corner.

I wasn’t always an iced tea fan, but a while back, for health reasons, I decided to give up carbonated soda (or pop, or soda pop–choose your poison). Plain water seemed boring, so I started ordering iced tea in restaurants. Now I can’t get enough of it. Turns out I prefer it very plain: no sweetener, no fruit flavoring, no nothing . . . well, a slice of lemon is okay, and ice, of course. But none of that fancy stuff for me.

I was amused by the ad at left, from the June 1938 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, which makes it sound like iced tea was some radical new idea being marketed to the American public. And maybe it was at the time, at least outside the South. Haven’t Southerners been drinking iced tea forever?Although I understand that down in Dixie you can be run out of town for not drinking it sweet. Or is that just a stereotype?

Traditionally served in a tall, straight-sided glass, iced tea has also inspired a special utensil–the iced tea spoon, a small spoon with a long handle designed to reach the bottom of the tall glass.

I don’t make iced tea very often at home–it tends to be my “dining out” beverage, while at home I drink water–but when I do, my favorite method is to simply heat water in a kettle, brew up some plain old Lipton, let it chill, and pour it over ice. I use tea bags, but I know that purists insist on using loose tea and an infuser. If you want to learn more about brewing iced tea in greater detail, check out this post. Someday I’d like to try brewing sun tea–maybe this will be the year.

Are you an iced tea fan? What qualities say “perfect glass of iced tea” to you?

Meanwhile, I’m virtually clinking my tea glass with yours!