My cup of tea

Summer’s set in, so beat back the heat with a frosty glass of iced tea.

One of the things I value — in people and in beverages — is versatility, so for my money, there’s really not much better than tea. Tea can help relax you before bed or give you a quick kick of caffeine in the morning. It’s equally at home in formal and informal settings. And it is both the ultimate cold-weather beverage, preferably laced with honey and brandy and served in front of a crackling fire, and the quintessential summer refreshment, preferably doctored with a bit of lemon and mint; poured over ice cubes in a tall, sweating glass; and enjoyed in a gently swaying hammock.

Our Yankee friends often expect New Orleans to have mint juleps and sweet tea in abundance, and in reality, we’re known for neither of those things.

Locally based Luzianne offers several sweet teas, and my godmother makes probably the best sweet tea in the whole world, but tea isn’t served sweet as a default here the way it is in, say, North Carolina.

Sweet or not, though, this is the perfect time to enjoy a cool glass of tea — it’s National Iced Tea Month and the official start of summer. And even if you can’t find that gently swaying hammock, you can still enjoy every last drop of a good glass of tea — in your summer best at the country club or in nothing but a sandy bathing suit at the beach.

Happy summer, y’all.

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