Lowcountry Peach Sweet Tea

Ah, the Lowcountry - a region known for its historic beauty, coastal charm, and of course, its culinary treasures.  When you think of the Lowcountry, visions of moss-draped oaks and serene estuaries might come to mind, but for many of us, it’s the flavors that truly capture the essence of this magical region.  What better way to represent this Southern paradise than by blending two of its most beloved offerings?  My recipe combines the succulent sweetness of peaches with the timeless tradition of Southern sweet tea.  
In every glass of Lowcountry Peach Sweet Tea, you’ll taste more than just a refreshing beverage;  you’ll experience a rich tapestry of traditions, memories, and the spirit of the South.

6 black tea bags / or our favorite “Front Porch Sweet Tea” included in our “South Carolina Box”
8 cups water, divided
2 large ripe peaches, pitted and sliced (plus extra for garnish)
1 cup granulated sugar (to taste)
1 sprig fresh mint (plus extra for garnish)
Ice cubes
1 lemon, sliced (optional)
In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Remove from heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 5-7 minutes.  Remove an discard the tea bags.  Allow the tea to cool completely.
In a saucepan, combine the sliced peaches, sugar, and the remaining 4 cups of water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the peaches are soft, about 15 minutes. Use a potato masher or the back of a spoon to gently mash the peaches, releasing more of their flavor.
Add the sprig of mint to the peach mixture, pushing it below the liquid’s surface.  Allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Strain the peach mixture, discarding the solids, and combine it with the cooled tea in a large pitcher.  Place the pitcher in the refrigerator to chill, about 2 hours or until cold.
Fill glasses with ice cubes, pour in the peach sweet tea, and garnish with fresh peaches slices, a spring of mint and lemon slice.
Embrace the sweetness of the South with this refreshing peach-infused tea, reminiscent of South Carolina’s sun kissed orchards.  This peach sweet tea is a delightful homage to the South, where the warmth of the sun and the richness of the earth meet in every glass.  
Sip and savor the refreshing taste of the Lowcountry, wherever you may be!

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