The windows in the Martha Stewart Photo studios face South. In a 12 hour period, you can literally have four seasons in one day. An early Spring, a killer Summer, a long Autumn, and an iced cold Winter.
Often times I would come into the studio and see photographer Bryan Gardner, who hails from South Carolina, making his ‘sun tea‘ for the entire crew. Sun tea is where you don’t boil water but rather just put the teabags (Luzianne— which are mandatory, Northern people!) into a jug, or jar, with a lid, and place it in the warm sun to sit, and infuse over time.
“I really have no first memory of drinking this tea. I grew up with it, and every time I drink it, it sends me back home. My mother would make sun tea for us, and it was really good, some might say because it sits, taking in the sun’s warmth and natural rays without being harshly boiled it has a smoother flavor. The first time I made it at Martha was Spring 2009. I guess it was March—one of those NY days that jump up 20 degrees over night, so all of a sudden it was warm and beautiful out. We had one shot to do outside—it was of a picnic basket so I decided I should make some sun tea for the team. It was such a big hit I just kept making it”.
METHOD: Place Luzianne tea bags and water in a very large jar with a lid. Place it in the hot Southern sun (or a New York studio that faces South (!) and leave for a couple—if not more— hours, (we’re on Southern time… y’all) Sweeten to taste. Drink.