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Cooking with Kyle: Make delicious, homemade iced tea

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahomans love our iced tea. We purchase it by the gallon at stores and order tons of it at restaurants.

Somehow, many of us are not actually aware of the simple process to make clear, delicious tea – both sweet tea and regular tea, at home.

For the retail price of one gallon of sweet tea, one can make 6 gallons at home, and it will be better and fresher.

This recipe yields one quart, and may be scaled up as much as you wish.

1 quart sized tea bag (or 6 single serve tea bags)
1 pinch (or roughly 1/8 t) baking soda
1 quart water (may be distilled, tap or bottled if you wish. Do not use hot water)
1.5 C simple syrup

Simple Syrup:
1 C sugar
1 C water

Place tea bags and baking soda in a heatproof glass container.
In a saucepan, bring 1 quart water just to a rolling boil. Pour over tea bags and baking soda. Cover, allow to steep 7-8 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool. * If allowing individuals to sweeten their own tea, stop here. Pour over ice and serve* Add 1.5 C simple syrup. Stir. Serve over ice.

Simple syrup:
1 C sugar
1 C water
Place sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil – allow to boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool before adding to iced tea or any other beverage. Will keep for one week, sealed, in refrigerator.

Garnish iced tea with any combination of orange or lemon wedges and fresh mint, if desired.