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Fourth of July, 2006
True Blue Barbecue

Peace, Love and Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe (Rodale, 2005)
Fred Thompson's Southern-Style Ice Tea
From Peace, Love and Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe (Rodale, 2005)
Adapted by

Yield: 8 Servings

Fred Thompson loves ice tea more than anyone you know. In fact, the CIA grad has written an entire book on what he endearingly calls the “house wine of the South.” The classic Southern manifestation is Sweet Tea; its classic pairing is barbecue. Though any basic black tea will work, Thompson prefers to use Luzianne


  • 6 regular-size tea bags (preferably Luzianne)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 cups cold water
  • Sugar or other sweetener to taste (optional)

    *baking soda softens the natural tannins that cause an acidic or bitter taste

Place the tea bags and baking soda in a bowl large enough to accommodate the boiling water. Pour the boiling water of the tea bags cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing will add bitterness).
Pour the concentrate into a 2-quart pitcher and add the cold water. Sweeten, if desired. Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.

Note: Granulated sugar will not dissolve in a cold glass of tea. Either add sugar while tea is still hot or serve tea with a small pitcher of simple syrup.

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  •    Published: June 2006
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