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Southern Iced Sweet Tea

Southern Sweet Tea, a strong infusion of black tea that is sweetened and served over ice, is as essential to southern cuisine as fried chicken and collard greens. Depending on personal preference, it may also include a squeeze of lemon juice. And it’s never limited to warmer weather here, it appears on our tables every day of the year!

Ahh, sweet tea. The nectar of life to a southerner.

A glass of southern iced sweet tea with lemon and mint.

I can’t remember a single day of my life when there wasn’t a pitcher of fresh, homemade sweet tea in my refrigerator. Its constant presence is just a part of the fabric of daily living. It’s the beverage of choice for lunch and supper, and it’s not unheard of to have a glass at breakfast on hot, sultry summer days.

Some of us are even guilty of putting it in babies’ bottles. Not that I would ever do something like that.

✍🏻 The Origins of Sweet Tea


While it’s impossible to nail down the exact date that sweet tea was invented, the first recorded recipe was published in an 1839 cookbook called The Kentucky Housewife by Lettice Bryan. Early versions were made with green tea and were served as alcoholic punches at fancy parties.

Over time, the recipe slowly shifted to black tea since it was less expensive and easier to get. During prohibition in the 1920s, the beverage evolved from an alcoholic drink into a “mocktail” of sorts and that’s the origin of the sweet tea that we know today!

🙄 Not Everyone Drinks Iced Tea All Year Round


It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I learned that not everyone in the world drinks sweet tea every day. And let me tell you, it was a rude awakening, too.

It was on a trip to Nebraska when we stopped in St. Louis for a meal. I, being the southern girl that I was, ordered sweet tea with my meal. After all, it was what we had at home and ordered any time we went out to eat.

Well, the waiter looked right down his nose and told me he was “very sorry, but iced tea is out of season.” Huh? Out of season? Whoever heard of such a thing!

Not to be outdone, though, I asked him if hot tea was available. “Why certainly,” he said! Well then, I said, “May I please have a cup of hot tea and a glass of ice?” Got my sweet tea.

A glass of southern iced sweet tea with lemon and mint on a serving tray.

😲 Yes, It Really Is That Important


Don’t believe me yet about the importance of sweet tea to Southerners? When my husband’s company was planning the closing of its manufacturing facility in south Georgia a few years ago, they held a meeting for all the employees so that they could discuss the closure and possibilities for jobs with the company in its northeastern U.S. locations.

After some explanation, they asked if there were questions. They expected questions about benefits, moving expenses, transition assistance. You know the usual things on the minds of people about to be uprooted from their homes and sent halfway across the country.

What was the first question asked? Wait for it — “Do they serve sweet tea in the company cafeteria?” I am not joking.

Just in case you still don’t believe me, back in 2003 a bill was introduced in the Georgia state legislature that would make it a misdemeanor for a restaurant that offered tea on its menu to not offer sweet tea as well. They said the next day that it was actually an April Fool’s joke, but I don’t believe it.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING …

If you come to my house, and there is no tea in the refrigerator, either:
a) we just finished the last pitcher, and more is in process, or;
b) I am sick.

— Miss P

❤️ What You’ll Love About This Recipe


  • It’s traditional; we’ve been drinking it since we were born
  • Easy to make
  • Goes with everything
  • It’s budget friendly
  • You probably already have the ingredients on hand

🍃 Ingredients You’ll Need


Ingredients needed to make sweet tea -- sugar, tea bags, water.

This post contains affiliate links.

  • Water I’ve seen some recommendations for using “filtered” water. I’ve been making tea for decades and I use plain tap water.
  • Tea BagsMy preferred brand is Luzianne. Tetley is also good.
  • Sugar White, granulated sugar like Dixie Crystals brand.

The complete ingredient list with detailed measurements is included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Tea being poured from a pitcher into a glass with ice.

🥄 Here’s the Best Way to Make a Pitcher of Southern Iced Sweet Tea


STEP 1. Place one quart of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the tea bags.

👉 PRO TIP: I mostly use family size tea bags for making my tea, but you can use the regular size ones just as well. Remember that 4 regular tea bags (or 4 teaspoons of loose tea) equals one family size tea bag.

STEP 2. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and let it steep for 10-15 minutes.

👉 PRO TIP: Now, I know that all the tea companies’ instructions say to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. But I’m telling you that most southern cooks will steep at least 15 minutes. Sometimes more. We just want to get all the goodness we can out of those tea leaves! When the steeping time is over, I also stir the bags around in the water for a while and then give them a good squeeze before I remove them.

STEP 3. Remove the tea bags and add the sugar.

STEP 4. Stir until completely dissolved.

👉 PRO TIP: Now, here’s another thing you need to know. Make sure to add your sugar while your steeped tea is still good and warm. If you try to add sugar to cold water, you’ll never get it to go into solution (because science, y’all). Same as when they bring you some unsweetened iced tea and two sugar packets in a restaurant. Like two packs of sugar are enough to start with, but you’ll never get that tea sweet enough after the ice has been added. The sugar just won’t dissolve!

STEP 5. Add the additional quart of cold water.

STEP 6. Stir well. 

Makes two quarts of the prettiest, sweetest tea you ever tasted. Serve the tea over ice. Lemon and mint are optional.

A glass of southern iced sweet tea with lemon and mint on a serving tray.

❗ Recipe Tips


  • Always start with cold water. If the water is warm or room temperature, it can make your tea cloudy. 
  • Be sure to add the sugar while the steeped tea is still good and warm. If you try to add sugar to cold water, you’ll never get it to go into solution.
  • Use a non-reactive saucepan for boiling the water and steeping the tea so you don’t cause any unwanted chemical reaction.
  • Never pour hot tea into a glass pitcher (ask me how I know this is a bad idea). Refrigerate the tea or at least cool it to room temperature first.
  • Don’t skimp on steeping time. You want a really strong infusion of tea.

❓ Questions About Sweet Tea


What type of tea is best for sweet tea?

You can use any brand of tea that you prefer, but you’ll find that most Southerners tend to use Luzianne black tea bags. The taste does vary between brands, just like coffee, with each brand having a unique blend of flavors.

Can I use artificial sweeteners in my tea?

Of course you can. Authentic southern sweet tea is sweetened with sugar, but my goodness we can’t drink that every single day, right? To be honest, I only use sugar for special occasions these days. Our everyday tea is sweetened with Splenda.

How long can I store this in the refrigerator?

We drink a whole pitcher every day, so storage really has never been an issue. However, you can actually keep sweet tea for about three days refrigerated. After that, it’s not so fresh. It’s best stored in a plastic or glass pitcher with a well fitting lid.

Can I add fruit to my tea? Don’t y’all drink peach tea in the south?

No, darling. Peach tea isn’t a southern thing. It’s something made up to sell beverages like raspberry tea and strawberry tea and hibiscus tea. (Can you tell I don’t like fruit teas?) But you add whatever you want to in your tea. It just won’t be southern sweet tea you’re drinking.

I’ve seen recipes that say add a pinch of baking soda. Do you recommend that?

Some cooks do actually add a pinch of baking soda to their tea. They say it neutralizes the sometimes bitter taste from over-steeping tea. I don’t add it to mine, but feel free to try it if you like.

🧾 More Beverage Recipes


>> See all my best southern comfort food recipes. <<

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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A glass of southern iced sweet tea with lemon and mint.

Southern Iced Sweet Tea

Southern Iced Sweet Tea, a strong infusion of black tea that is sweetened and served over ice, is an essential element of southern cuisine.
5 from 9 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Beverages
Cuisine: Southern
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 97kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts cold water divided
  • 2 family size tea bags or 8 regular size tea bags or 8 teaspoons of loose tea (recommend Luzianne brand)
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

  • Place one quart of water in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the tea bags.
  • Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags and add the sugar.
  • Stir until completely dissolved.
  • Add the additional quart of cold water.
  • Stir well.

Notes

TIPS AND FAQs
  • Always start with cold water. 
  • Use a non-reactive saucepan for boiling the water and steeping the tea.
  • Never pour hot tea into a glass pitcher. Refrigerate the tea or at least cool it to room temperature first.
  • Don’t skimp on steeping time. You want a really strong infusion of tea.
  • Use any brand of tea that you like. Most Southerners tend to use Luzianne black tea bags. The taste does vary from between brands, just like coffee, with each brand having a unique blend of flavors.
  • Substitute an artificial sweetener for the sugar if you like.
  • Store it in the refrigerator for about three days in a plastic or glass pitcher with a well fitting lid.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 97kcal | Carbohydrates 25g | Sodium 12mg | Potassium 1mg | Sugar 25g | Calcium 7mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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5 from 9 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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85 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious. and I agree, Luzianne tea is the best.

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my Lord do I love you Lana!! I’ve said this before, but reading your posts and browsing your older stories always reminds me of my family and specifically the special ladies in my family, my grandmama’s, mom and aunt’s. With regards to this post/recipe, It made me smile so much. Sweet Tea was one of the first things we girls got to make either at grandmama’s or at home and this recipe (or ratios) is the same as the one our family’s has used forever… Of course I have this at home, but I can’t imagine going out to eat and someone telling me “sweet tea was out of season” LOL!!! you go girl! Now that my sister and I (and a few cousins) are the oldest living ladies of our clan, I so appreciate your posts even more, well, they just feel like home. Have a blessed day!

    1. Thank you so much, Angela! I used to love telling the stories that go with the old recipes. However, these days we food bloggers get so many nasty, derogatory comments about how long our posts are and how we should just give the recipe and shut up. I’ve been removing a lot of my stories because of that. So, I really appreciate it when someone enjoys them :-)

  3. 5 stars
    If you don’t have tea bags to make ice tea where you live, you need to move. As my boyhood friend and idol, Lewis Grizzard used to say, “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.”

  4. If you come to my house, and there is no tea in the refrigerator, either:
    a) we just finished the last pitcher, and more is in process, or;
    b) I am sick.

    Just sayin’. Also, if you use half sugar and half stevia, it tastes great with half the calories.

    Miss P

    1. It’s the same here :-) We wouldn’t know how to behave without a pitcher of tea in the fridge.

  5. You missed the pinch of baking soda..Talk about tea flavor! The soda immediately brings out the deep color and tea flavor..My grandma taught me this trick in Virginia when I was a girl..yum

  6. Martha Allain says:

    We don’t have family size tea bags here where I live .So how much single should I use. I just love sweet tea the first time I tried sweet tea was in a restaurant in Georgia and I loved it ever since. I buy some every time we go to the states

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Hi Martha – thanks for asking! In general, one family size tea bags is equivalent to four regular size bags. Hope that helps.

  7. Lisa in Indy says:

    Back in the early 70ies as new bride moving from my home state of Delaware to Georgia, my new in-laws ALWAYS had (iced) tea. I never heard it called ‘Sweet Tea’, until recently. When I was married, ‘he’ expected tea every day but I never really understood the obsession. It had a LOT of sugar!!!! … which is probably why his teeth were so brown; never mind ALL that SUGAR!!! I never drank it as it was too sweet, but if we didn’t have a full pitcher in the frig ‘somebody’ was cranky! My iced tea uses Splenda and I try not to double the amount of water, instead filling the pitcher with as many ice cubes as possible so the tea isn’t diluted with too much water and too many ice cubes. Thank you, Lana for another Memory Lane moment.

  8. There’s plenty of sweet tea in St. Louis. Remember, a ton of Southerners flooded St. Louis for many decades for industrial jobs. Then, it’s a city in a pseudo-Southern state whose southwest edge is the foothills of the Ozarks. It was definitely the particular restaurant you were at. While many places in the lower Midwest (including many places in Missouri) don’t have sweet tea, what is really strange is iced tea in general being “out of season”. I had never heard of that.

  9. I am a northerner. And I love sweet tea! Your recipe is exactly how I make my ice tea (sweet tea). Been doing this for years. Drinking it right now! I have it all year long. Even in the dead of winter. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  10. Whew! What a relief to know I’ve been making Sweet Tea correctly all these years! Y’all may think that sounds strange or snarky but I’ve often wondered. I do get rave reviews over my Sweet Tea, and this is exactly how I make it after much trial & error. One minor difference: I add a couple shakes of salt to the hot water as the tea steeps. That really amps up the flavor without making anything overpowering. Even my sugar-averse Better Half loves my Sweet Tea. :-) Just for the record, I *only* use Luzianne family-sized tea bags. It’s positively the BEST. Thanks for sharing this Lana – and here’s to Sweet Tea lovers everywhere!

  11. I can’t seem to find family tea bags. How many regular tea bags should I use. Thanks.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Hi Stacy – the rule of thumb is generally 3 regular size equals 1 family size.

  12. Sweet tea is new to me. Will Splenda work instead of sugar?

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Yes. You can use any sweetener you like.

  13. william from oklahoma says:

    We always add a pinch of baking soda while steeping. I was told by my grandmother it takes away any bitterness from the tea. But its possible that it could just have been one of those things passed down and we continue to do because grandma did

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I’ve heard that from a lot of people. I never have done it, but maybe I’ll give it a try, too!

  14. I add a pinch of baking soda to mine and ended up reducing the sugar. The baking soda takes the bitterness out and makes the tea much sweeter on its own. I make a gallon using only 1/2 cup sugar. It is very sweet.

  15. I learned not everyone drank iced tea when I move to Arizona it was surprising we always had sweet tea at our family table…..I just make it at home now the restaurants just cant get it tasting the right way… although I’m not from the south I’m from the Midwest I can’t wait to make it like this I’ve always wanted to try true southern sweet tea

  16. I had never tried sweet tea until about a month ago. It was at a hospital and it was brewed, next to brewed unsweetened tea. I figured I would try it since Im a fan of tea. The best tea I have ever had. I’ve been searching for premade sweetened tea ever since and I can’t find anything as good or as sweet as I did that day. I’m going to try this recipe this weekend and hope I get close ;0)

  17. Your recipe calls for 2 family size tea bags, how many regular tea bags would that equal?

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Hi Jamie – 4 regular tea bags are equal to 1 of the family size tea bags.

  18. Barbara Dennis says:

    I forgot to mention that we are from Pennsylvania with no southern connections.

  19. Barbara Dennis says:

    Love this tea….but it isn’t only from the south. We have been making this in our family at least since Grandmother in the late 1800’s. My mother – in -law who was born in 1918 said her mother always made it and we all make it in the family. Only difference is we use 6 regular tea bags, all other measurements the same. My 2nd son likes his only brewed for 5 min. Through the years we vary our tea bag choices between time and or family members. I currently use Red Rose but for many years only used Tetley and then Lipton. It’s just a preference. Currently most of prefer it without lemon but for years we had it only with lemon and added it directly to the pitcher.

  20. I’ve never actually had Sweet Tea, but I’ve been meaning to change that. What sort of tea bags do you use? Would black tea work?

    1. Karlie, I use two family size tea bags, typically Tetley’s brand. Other brands are Lipton and Luzianne. Any of them make a very fine iced tea. And, yes, black tea will work quite nicely.

  21. whats your favorite tea bags?

    1. Rhonda – I know a lot of people swear by Luzianne, but my favorite has always been Tetley!

  22. I really like your idea of adding the sugar to the warm tea. This seems a lot easier & quicker then making simple syrup, then letting it cool before adding to the brewed tea as I’ve seen in every iced tea recipe.

  23. Hi Lana. I lived In Augusta, GA for 4 years while in the military and let me tell you…..I LOVED IT (even more than HI). My question is: What Flavor tea bags would I use to make (extra)ordinary sweet tea? I really don’t want to use “other” flavors such as rasberry or lemon. I want traditional. Thanks. By the way, I’m thinking of opening a Southern style restaurant in Mexico with the basic fixn’s like country fried steak, biscuits n gravy, etc.

    1. Hi Tony. I usually use Tetley or Lipton. Ordinary tea is black pekoe – not flavored. Hope that helps?

  24. Kim Cunningham says:

    Visiting from Content Brew this week. Since I am a Georgia Girl and love sweet tea (obviously), I just had to click on this post!

    1. We do love our sweet tea, don’t we ;-)

  25. I am glad i finally found an iced tea recipe the way i loved it when i was in the usa.. But can you help me switch the 2 family size teabags with normal tea bags? Thank you

    1. Hi Yasmine – I think it varies by brand, but generally one family size tea bag is equal to three small tea bags.

      1. Hi, for Luzianne Tea the individual (small) tea bags are 2 gr. and the family size are 7 gr. Hope this helps.

  26. I moved from the north of Europe to the south (of Europe, that is) and found a lot of crops and food that I had no idea how to use in cooking so I started looking on the internet and found Southern cooking. Apart from the seafood we have the same ingredients but the flavours of the American South suit me much better than the local cooking here. They do like iced tea here, but it has almost no flavour and they prefer herbal teas to black tea. We’ve been using your recipe since last summer and it is wonderful :) Thank you for a very inspiring blog.

    1. Marie- I’m so glad you find things that you like here. Enjoy the sweet tea!

  27. Oh how i love sweet tea. i would rather have it than food lol. ill tell you a good story. I got sick and was put on a ventilator to keep me alive for 11 days for a few of the last days all i could do was point to letters the first thing i asked for was sweet tea. and they had it waiting for me when i came off the machine. crazy i know but i love it. i cant believe there is people that have never tasted it or think you can add sugar to iced tea. i did a craft show one year and there was a lady from Brooklyn who had never tried it. i went inside and fixed her some right up and she loved it. this is just like my recipe. definately the wine of the south

  28. Just found your recipe and site – too cute by the way – and just had to try it! I grew up in the south and lived there all my life before beginning my current adventure in Spain. The one thing I always miss though is proper Sweet Tea. I saw your recipe – and why I’ve tried a few others in the past, yours takes the cake. Reminds me so much of home! I’m bringing a pitcher into school tomorrow to let my students try while I give them a presentation on North Carolina – they’re about to start a unit on US States. They’ve been dying to try it since I keep raving and talking about it. Just wanted to say Thanks! The recipe is sweet southern perfection!

    1. Aw, Lauren. Your comment just made my day! So happy you found the blog and I do hope you’ll come back again. I’d love to know what your students think about sweet tea :-)

  29. Just found your website by way of tastespotting and man am I a happy girl today! Your post put a smile on my face!

    This recipe is the same recipe I use and that my families’ used for as long as I can remember (I’m pretty sure, some of our babies have had it in a bottle, I’m just sayin), but it’s just funny to see it in a recipe format and to read the comments from people about it. Seems sweet tea has quite a ‘cult’ following by now. Raised on it, proud of it, can’t get enough of it. There’s ALWAYS a pitcher of this in our home. Love your site, can’t wait to explore some of your other southern treasures.

  30. Yummy! This recipe for sweet tea is delicions! I am one of those people that had never heard of “Sweet Tea” until I moved from the Midwest to NC about 7 years ago. And it took me about 5 more years to actually become accustomed to sweet tea and now I can’t get enough. I will be making my tea this way from now on!

  31. Kanna-Chan says:

    I used to not like sweet tea because my dad,my paternal grandmother, and paternal uncle all made their tea very strong and bitter. They used only half a cup of sugar. However, I recently moved to Tennesee where my maternal family lives and my aunt always uses at least a cup and a hal of sugar and I’ve grown to enjoy it, though my brother complains that it is too sweet.

  32. I love sweet tea with lemon. However, hadn’t had it in awhile since I am a diabetic. I will try your recipe with Splenda.

    Love your site

  33. I always make sweet tea, I love it :) I use the lipton cold brew bags now, so much faster!

  34. Heather Davis says:

    Love that story! I seriously love ice tea and always put a little bit of sugar in it. It’s so funny because in England no one drinks it. Tea is always hot. I make it myself and keep it in the fridge but ususally just in the summer months. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Do you think you could use an artificial sugar or is that like sacrilege?!

    1. Heather – Honestly, we use Splenda (sugar substitute) in our iced tea for everyday. The “real” sugar-sweeted tea we only serve on special occasions these days. As much sweetened tea as we drink, we’d be killing ourselves with all that sugar!

  35. Renee (kudos kitchen) says:

    Great photos Lana!

  36. Cookin' Canuck says:

    The story about the Georgia state legislature really hits home how important sweet tea is in southern life. Thanks for sharing this, Lana.

    1. It truly is a part of the Southern culture.

  37. I love sweet tea! I am a Yankee, but my girl Cheri taught me how to make proper sweet tea just like yours. I am a total convert!

  38. Sweet tea was one of the few things that I grew to like very quickly when I moved down south!

    1. It’s an easy thing to learn to like, isn’t it? I can’t imagine a day without sweet tea :-)

  39. Barbara @moderncomfortfood says:

    I’m with you, Lana. I was literally weaned on very strong, very sweet iced tea must have had hundreds of gallons of the stuff over the course of my life. I’ve toned down the sugar over the past couple of decades but still consider it my go-to, thirst-quenching drink of choice on hot days, which, of course, is almost every day here in FL.

    1. Right, Barbara. Nothing quenches the thirst quite like a cold glass of sweet tea. I probably should have mentioned that we don’t routinely use sugar in ours anymore. Splenda does the trick and keeps down the calories.

      1. Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says:

        No sugar? What? Oh Lana!

        1. Well, no, not on a daily basis. We save the “real” stuff for special occasions these days :-)

  40. I haven’t put that in a baby bottle or sippy cup, and I don’t drink it like water, oh wait, I’m lying. I did start to use stevia though instead of sugar and add mint in the summer. And I gave the baby unsweet, or with stevia or honey, I’m not that bad. Well I guess by today’s standards I am, you can’t give baby’s that huge list, that I threw out the window, I do everything the old fashioned way, works much better.

    1. I do things the old-fashioned way, too, Angie. Works out fine :-)

  41. jenn (Bread + Butter) says:

    A friend of mine keeps mentioning about sweet tea. I seriously need to give it a try. He’s been bragging about it to me every time i order an ice tea whenever we order out somewhere.

    1. Give it a try, Jenn. It only takes a few minutes to make and it’s pretty inexpensive, too.

  42. Just a 1/2 cup of sugar, please. That stuff is fattening, though, I’ve been drinkng it all my life. I love my sweet tea, too, but we’ve got reduce the sugar. I can, on a hot Saturday, drink a gallon or two, but I cannot imagine eating a cup or two of sugar.

    1. Well, Phil, to each his own. You make yours with a half cup and I’ll make mine with a whole cup :-)

  43. sensiblecooking says:

    Very refreshing way of refreshing yourself. Love anything sweet but tea love it even more. Oh my I didn’t know about sweet tea being so important part southern lifestyle. I guess I will have to come at least for my sweet tea, to experience it the southern way.

  44. Sandie {A Bloggable Life} says:

    Bless your heart! I’ve always fancied myself a southerner and believe I must have fanned myself on a plantation porch at some point in a prior life, surrounded by pecan trees and peaches of course!

    I love that you put a Sweet Tea recipe on your blog, and I love the quote you chose from Steel Magnolia’s. And the part about Georgia legislature’s April Fools? Too funny!

  45. fun read on southern tea and yes, there is nothing like it …

  46. Although I have no Southern roots, this is the way that my Mother made what we called “iced tea” in Philadelphia. One thing, she always added some lemon while the tea was steeping. We drank it year round and I continue the tradition to this day. I prefer it to soda, which I haven’t drunk in years.

    1. Hi Carole,

      We call it “iced tea” also. Iced tea, though, could mean either sweetened or unsweetened for us, so to clarify we just shorten the “sweetened iced tea” to “sweet tea.” I prefer it to soda as well and drink it all day. I add lemon to individual servings since some of us like it and some don’t :-)

  47. I lived in Japan for three years, and I several friends who could come over to my house just for my sweet tea. When we had potlucks, everyone would ask for it, so I would take over THREE GALLONS!! Trust me, those jugs emptied out fast!

    If you find you are sweet tea challenged, or prefer to use a loose leaf tea, adagio.com has a neat device called an ingenuiTEA. They also have some wonderful naturally-flavored tea. I love their iced mojito tea and my mom loves their ginger peach tea.

    One last thing, I was always taught to use stainless steel pans. My granny said that aluminum makes the tea taste “off” so don’t use it. Has anyone else ever heard that? Just curious.

    1. I’ve never heard about not using aluminum pans, but I don’t use them anyway because of the relationship of aluminum with Alzheimer’s.

      1. If you don’t use aluminum pans (I don’t either for the same reason), you might want to check your antiperspirant. Generally, the first ingredient is an alum compound. If you can find one that is strictly a deodorant, many times there is no aluminum in it. However, it’s really hard to find plain deodorant nowadays unless you go to a health food store. And then you have to get used to sweating again. I live in SW Florida, so that really was a concern for me. I got over it!!

  48. begin with a Sunny Outlook says:

    I make my iced tea the same way but it’s not sweet enough to be called Sweet Tea. It’s funny how things like this happen – I poured myself a tall glass of iced tea today and I thought ‘this looks so southern, I wonder if it is’, and then tonight I saw your Southern Sweet Tea post!

    Love your posts and how you bring old fashion foods and past traditions together.

    1. Your comment about bringing old-fashioned foods and traditions together really made my day! That’s exactly what I try to do on my blog.

  49. My Yanni is from New Orleans and he *adores* his sweet tea! Thanks bunches for showing me how to actually make the delicious sweet, sweet Southern tea!

    1. Hi Wenderly – If you try this method, do let me know how he likes it!

  50. I’ve never had authentic Southern sweet tea, but I’ve been dying to for a while now. This sounds fabulous!

    1. Now you can make some any time you want! I do recommend Luzianne tea bags. They’re just the best and are meant specifically for iced tea.

  51. The first time that I ever had sweet tea was when I lived in Chattanooga for 6 months when I was 20 years old. I was blown away for how friendly and gracious everyone was. For the longest time, I thought that having sweet tea meant pouring sugar in your tea. IT wasn’t the same. Tien :)

    1. No, Tien. You just can’t get that tea sweet once it is cold. You have to dissolve the sugar in the warm tea and then put it over ice.

  52. Vickie from Part Three - Life After Kids says:

    LOL – I remember when I first came to Montana and ordered iced tea – it was pretty awful. Now you can get it most places, but it’s never good old southern sweet tea. (I have to make that at home.)

    1. I know what you mean, Vickie. Everyone has a little bit different recipe and they all taste slightly different. Homemade is always the best anyway!