This recipe is a good time. It comes from an old friend’s mother, who lives up in Virginia. We swampified it by adding rum, and took it to the Blackpot Festival (a good time in itself–one of my favorite things to do in October) over in Lafayette, Louisiana. With or without rum, it’s now a staple at all evening cold weather events, from festivals to 5K’s. Just don’t get all riled up when you read the tacky ingredients. It is what it is. And it is pretty fine:
Dry ingredients (can be pre-mixed and stored in the freezer):
1 + 2/3 cup TANG
1 package (19 oz.) lemonade drink mix
1 + 1/2 cup plain instant iced tea
2 + 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl and set aside. Boil some water in a pot. Use the TANG instructions for proportion. Stir in dry ingredient mixture until it dissolves. Add a little extra water. This stuff is sweet. Pour it into a thermos and go serve it up hot. Make sure to have some tin mugs like the one pictured above.
If you decide to swampify, just add rum to your liking. You may want to hold back on the extra water in this case, because the rum will cut the sweetness. And watch it! I am very serious. This is one of those deals where you can’t taste the liquor. Pay close attention to the amount of rum that you pour in, not whether you can taste it, or you’ll just end up on the kitchen floor and miss the party. Actually, I imagine that’s good general advice about the use of rum.