Sweet Tea. This home-brewed Southern Sweet Tea is smooth, refreshing, and simple. This classic southern drink is quick and easy to make at home. 

A tray filled with glasses of homemade sweet tea.

Sweet tea, or as it’s known in the south, simply, tea. If you order tea at a restaurant it’s going to be sweet. It’s just a given. If you don’t want it sweet, then you would order unsweetened tea. Most homes in the south typically have a pitcher, or gallon jug in the fridge, ready to serve up a refreshing glass at any given moment. 

A jug dripping with condensation and filled with homemade sweet tea.

How to Make Sweet Tea

  • Pour 2 cups of water into a medium size saucepan. Add in the baking soda and sugar. Bring this to a boil while stirring. This creates a simple syrup, which is what is going to make this tea sweet but not gritty with sugar. The baking soda takes away the bitterness from the tea. 
  • Once this comes to a boil, remove from the heat. Add in the tea bags. If using family size tea bags use 3, if using the smaller single tea bags, use 8. 
  • Let the tea steep in the hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Once you are done steeping the tea, remove the tea bags and pour the tea mixture into a large pitcher. Pour in an additional 4 cups of cold water and add 1 cup of ice. 
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week. 

A jug pouring a glass of iced sweet tea.

What kind of tea do I use?

Use the tea bags that make iced tea. Typically Lipton or Luzianne. And even though we are making iced tea we still need to use hot water to make our tea. This is because the hot water helps the flavor of the tea develop. 

Overhead view of a glass of sweet tea with ice and a sprig of mint.

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A tray filled with glasses of homemade sweet tea.

Classic Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea. This home-brewed Southern Sweet Tea is smooth, refreshing, and simple. This classic southern drink is quick and easy to make at home. 
 

Ingredients

Optional

  • Lemon wedges
  • Mint leaves
  •  

Instructions

  • Pour 2 cups of water into a medium size saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Stir in the sugar and baking soda. Continue to stir occasionally while the water heats. The sugar will disappear and the water will turn clear. Once the water reaches boiling point (small bubbles forming) remove from heat
  • Dunk the tea bags a few times in the water, then leave the teabags in the water with the strings hanging over the side. After 10 minutes remove the bags.
  • Pour the tea mixture into a large pitcher. Add in the remaining  4 cups of cold water and 1 cup of ice. The tea can be served immediately or placed in the refrigerator to chill even further. Can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 90kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Sodium: 9mg, Sugar: 25g
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