get you a southern boy

(it is a sweaty summer day.  having spent the previous night with her wino friends, and a subsequent afternoon with her wino parents, oona struggles to keep conscious.  she is wearing a shift dress that is far too snug in the armhole area.  she knows there is a quick fix to this, but it involves the sharp blade and maniacal rattle of her elna prolock.  she needs her wits securely about her first.  suddenly, inspiration.)

oona:  RUGGY.  make some sweet tea!

ruggy:  you can do it.  it's really easy.

oona:  southern boy, you know you'll make it better.

(ruggy rattles off instructions as oona stomps around the kitchen:

one growler, one large glass measuring cup
pour 500 grams boiling water over 6 black tea bags
steep 15 minutes
strain tea into growler
add a pinch of baking soda, 75 grams of agave nectar, and 1/8 tsp vanilla
add filtered water to fill the rest of the growler
shake it up
et voila.

they drink.)

oona:  my tea is not as good as yours.

ruggy:  that's because you ain't southern.

(time passes.  oona pounds away on her laptop.  ruggy, sipping the mediocre tea,  senses he is being typed about.)

ruggy:  still good though.  congratulations on your first tea making venture.

oona:  thank you.

ruggy:  next time do better.

(next time, oona will add rum.)


  1. sounds amazing...what's the baking soda for?

  2. farah: apparently, it is a secret southern ingredient. a real sweet tea calls for more baking soda, and granulated sugar, but ruggy likes to hip it up. it really is delicious when it's made right!

  3. My grandmother has not taught me correctly! I'm devastated. I'm a devout Southern girl and sweet tea maker and drinker and I have NEVER heard of putting baking soda in it.

    P.S. My word verification is forest and I'm sad that I don't get to do anything creative with it.

  4. I'm not a big tea drinker, but rum does tend to make everything better. ;)

  5. Oh, I didn't know Ruggy was a real southern boy, he would have that dreamy accent! You lucky gal.
    RUM in tea- definitely worth a try.
    My word verification is 'pidboura'. "This tea is great, but if just add a pidboura more rum it'll be perfect."

  6. Haha! My mama is southern, and it really can't be replicated, although sometimes I pretend. She confused the Cracker Barrel waitress the other night by saying "bawled" instead of "boiled".

  7. The baking soda help to keep it clear -- it won't get cloudy! I usually make a simple syrup, but I might need to try it with agave!

  8. Hmm. My hubby and I have similar debates over toast. Apparently it only tastes good when I make it.

    Sadly, I grew up in a world where iced tea (while always sweet) comes either from the soda fountain at the movie theatre or as a pre-packaged powder only a step up from Kool-Aid. It is yummy, but bears only a passing resemblance to tea in flavour.

  9. Apparently I made the mistake of marrying an English boy instead... a northern English boy to boot. He can't make anything but weak hot tea with not enough milk or sugar in it.

    huh. Tanit-Isis' sweet tea scares me a little. And I don't even drink sweet tea.

    @Lisette: just this afternoon my boss said, "y'all ba(w)l in that heat" I can't even replicate that particular sound, actually. On the other hand, she can't replicate the way I say "Chicago" so I suppose we're even.

  10. Totally! You and I have had the same experience! I don't know why my North Carolina man keeps asking me, but no matter how hard I try, this Detroit girl can never replicate some taste experience he is looking for in tea and pound cake (he has this thing for lemon pound cake and I have tried about 10 times to make his mother's recipe)... then after he asks me, he'll say something like, there's a reason it's called the Secret South... although I do have their family's famous church recipe for sweet tea which has loads of mint leaves and Tang.

  11. I am from NZ so I need to know what a growler is and where I would fine agave nectar so i can try this.

  12. haha we have dialogues like this too - "but you make it better" is His line though - works every time...ಠ_ಠ

  13. @Amy Ahahahahaha! Yes! The mint/Tang tea!! I forgot all about that... I'm pretty sure I only ever drank it at church picnics...

  14. You and Ruggy should come out and open a sweet tea stand in Brooklyn. Hipsters go crazy for agave nectar, yo! (As well as anything southern.)

  15. syrup-maker here too, for my sweet tea. Mmmm. Sweet tea...

  16. Oh, and you put your glass gallon jug of water & tea bags out on the "ba' poach" to "set in the sun a spell" too. ;)

  17. I'm married to a southern boy who makes the best sweet tea in the world :)
    I'm not even sure how it's done (and I'm southern myself)
    Make yourself an "ice pick" one day-- sweet tea and vodka

  18. Hey girl! Your post just gave me the best idea! I said sweet tea and rum, what?! That's a GREAT idea! It's friday and I aint got sh** to do! I brewed up some mint tea and mixed it with some mango flavored rum for that cuban flavor! And behold, Lucha Lovely sweet tea was born! Sooooo good!

  19. I've never even heard of sweet tea before... but I'm intrigued! My friend has agave nectar which he was going to use for experimenting with home brew but I think I can convince him otherwise. Just need to find out what a growler is... But we'll definitely add rum and toast to you! It won't be as good as Ruggy's of course, I don't think South Australian men count as Southern men....

    I love that Ruggy has sixth-Oona is typing about me-sense! I like the extra encouragement he gave as a result - but he could never come across as being a bastard even if he made it his life's work (he'd fail).

  20. "...a subsequent afternoon with her wino parents"

    I just had to stop by to thank y'all for that lovely compliment, Oona. I consider it a high honor to be included among such an exclusive, elite and time honored group as those who enjoy wine and spirits, all the way from the ancients who fermented the first grape through Jesus ('The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!'—Luke 7:34) and all the way up to and including present company.

    Did that sound remotely Southern?

    We raised you well, Oona. For what is better than a meal shared and what is a meal without a bottle of wine? Answer: it is NOT a meal!

    We had a great time with you and Ruggy as always. The Prosseco was delicious. It went very well with Thai food! Let's do it again very soon.

    It's past noon. I'm off for a drink!


    PS --

  21. > jade: oh no, now don't go getting me in trouble with grandma. as evidenced by the comments, every southerner knows the perfect way to make sweet tea. and only their way is right.

    > stephanie lynn: don't it though?

    > emilykate: yes, it's so much better than the jersey shore accent! "pidboura" made me do a spit take. luckily it was just water.

    > lisette: AAAAH! i know the exact sound you mean! whenever we go to ruggy's home, i repeat it every time i hear it. makes your mouth feel funny.

    > beth: aHAH! i wondered why his tea looked so much better than my northern shite! the agave is delicious. and you don't need as much to get it sweet.

    > tanit-isis: well, you know what that's about. he don't feel like makin it. bless his heart.

    > beangirl: weak hot tea might be grosser than koolaid tea. bless his heart.

    > amy: seriously, WHY DO THEY ASK?! i told ruggy about tang. he nodded knowingly.

    > georgina: a growler is a big old glass jug used for bringing home a large amount of beer :)) they're quite handy after the beer is gone. a lot of natural food stores carry agave , it's like honey, buy waaaaay better.

    > magda: yeah, that's a good line. ruggy really has to sell it for it to work on me, though.

    > gingermakes: please tell me you had ambrosia at those shindigs as well...

    > daughter fish: wouldn't them hipsters love it? especially sold in recycled growlers, how earthy crunchy. we should work barefoot.

    > angie a: SUN TEA!!!

    > liza jane: that name is complete awesomeness. i may have that tonight.

    > lucha lovely: i love it!!!! it sounds like you need a colorful accessory for that drink.

    > amanda: yes, he would fail totally :))) just get a big old jug (growlers house beer) and fill er up.... but hey, don't discourage the home brew, i wanna know how agave beer tastes!

    > big daddy: i KNEW you would take that as the compliment it was intended to be! us and jesus, winebibbers all. we had a great time too. again, post haste. i love that video and song. i think it deserves a post of its own.


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!