This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves!

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com

There are so many drinks that are perfect to enjoy from lemonade, to strawberry lemonade, to our favorite limeade recipe. But there is just nothing like a glass of great Southern sweet tea.

If you have ever been fortunate enough to enjoy an ice-cold glass of Southern sweet tea, then friends, you will know what I’m talking about when I say that there is good tea and then there is great tea. My Grandmother Verdie made the absolute best sweet tea that I have ever tasted. After years of watching and asking her a million questions, she taught me her secrets for how to make the best sweet tea. I haven’t looked back since.

Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com

There are a few tips and tricks that you’ll need to know for making this tea.

• Use tea specially blended for iced tea. Southern sweet tea is an iced tea, meaning that it is tea  made to be served over ice. Some brands that are preferred for iced tea are Red Diamond, Luzianne, Lipton and Tetley. Look for markings on the package to say that it is specially made for iced tea.

• Don’t burn your tea. Here’s what that means. You should bring your water to boil, remove it from the heat and then add your tea bags. This prevents the tea from burning and becoming bitter.

• Steeping matters. Allow your tea to steep for 15 minutes.

• Add a little baking soda. This can be controversial. But, hear me out. The baking soda prevents the tea from becoming cloudy and bitter. If you know that you will be drinking a gallon of tea in one day, you can skip the baking soda. If you think you’ll have some leftover to refrigerate, then definitely try it with the baking soda. It makes all the difference.

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com

How to Make Southern Sweet Tea

• Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a medium saucepan or a tea kettle over medium heat. Remove from the heat and drop the tea bags into the water. Allow the tea bags to steep for 15 minutes.

• As your tea is steeping, add your sugar to your pitcher. Remove the tea bags from the saucepan or kettle and press them against the side of the saucepan or kettle to press out as much of the tea as possible before discarding them.  Pour half of the tea into the pitcher over the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then pour in the remaining tea.

• Stir in the baking soda and then fill the pitcher the rest of the way with fresh, cold water. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe includes all the tried-and-true tips for smooth, delicious, and perfect sweet tea every time! // addapinch.com

Here’s my Southern Sweet Tea recipe. I hope you love it as much as my family always has.

 

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves! // addapinch.com

Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

This Southern Sweet Tea recipe is smooth, sweet, and delicious! It includes tried-and-true tips for how to make sweet tea that everyone loves!
5 from 2 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time5 mins
Steeping Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 1 gallon
Course Drinks
Calories: 73.8kcal
Serving Size 8g
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 4-5 family-size tea bags
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pinch baking soda (optional)
  • water

Instructions

  • Bring 1 quart of water to boil in a medium saucepan or tea kettle set over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for about 15 minutes. Do not allow the tea to become cold.
  • In a gallon pitcher, add the sugar and pour in about 1/2 of the warm tea. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the remainder of the brewed tea, being careful not to drop in tea bags.
  • Add baking soda and stir to combine. If serving immediately baking soda may not be needed.
  • Fill the pitcher with cold water and serve over ice. Great with a wedge of lemon, lime, orange or a sprig of mint.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 73.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.5g | Potassium: 49.7mg
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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14 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Awesomely great Southern Sweet Tea, Robyn. I made it today, and it was a perfect combination with my Sunday dinner to include collard greens, mac and cheese, baked pork steaks, rotisserie chicken, cornbread lemonade and good ole sweet tea. It was a hit!!! Thanks so much, and God bless you and your loved ones!

  2. Yeah! You it right!  And who has tea left over? The weird thing about our family is my mom didn’t drink sweet tea so her kids didn’t either. But when we had family gatherings, there was always a pitcher for Sister and her kids.  She was in the Navy when she learned to drink coffee and tea. Without sugar or cream.  None was around the airplane hangers or mess hall to add.  WW2 days.  Enjoy your sweet tea on these hot days!!

     

  3. This is the way I do it and it’s very simple. In have a Mr. Coffee maker, that was retired from coffee making and I only use 2 of the small tea bags for iced tea. Placing them in the compartment on top of each other directly where the water comes through. I set my maker on the strong setting, add my water and then I put 15 whole grain saccharin in the decanter and turn on the maker. That way my water doesn’t boil which can make your tea bitter. I use fewer teabags this way because when the water goes directly through the tea bags it gets all the goody out of the tea bags and is plenty strong enough. Of course, this is a sugar free tea but really good! My family and grandkids love it. You could always use sugar instead if you want to. Enjoy.

  4. Hi!  Just wondering what the baking soda is for? I have never seen this in an iced tea recipe before.
    Thanks!
    Joan

    1. Hi Joan. I believe the baking soda hinders your leftover tea from becoming cloudy. At least that is what I have heard and since I started doing this, my tea is never cloudy. It literally takes just a pinch for a gallon. And we have really hard water here.

    2. Hi Joan,
      As I stated in my post, the baking soda keeps the tea from becoming cloudy and bitter if you have any leftover and it sits in the refrigerator for a period of time. You use just a pinch so you won’t taste it in the tea. Thanks!

  5. Robyn, thank you for this recipe. I am from Southern IL and according to most people living south of Chicago, I am from The South (and yes, I do have a Southern accent)! I am a bit confused though by your recipe. I always heard pressing the remaining fluid out of the tea bag can make the tea bitter. I also have read that many Southerners will make a simple syrup with the sugar and water instead of diluting the sugar with the warm tea because they claim it “burns” the sugar. Interesting to read how it is done in different parts of the South. Oh-I drink unsweet tea but often make sweetened tea for company. I call it “Northern Tea” for the unsweet tea and Southern Tea for the sweet! Anyway, thanks again for sharing this and your many other recipes!

    1. Thanks, Vickie!
      This is the way my grandmother and mother always made sweet tea and it was always delicious. I have seen other “Southern” cooks make tea differently but this was the one I grew up drinking. Love your Northern Tea and Southern Tea idea!

  6. Robyn, this is not about sweet tea, but about my sugar cookies. My sugar cookies crumble easily.
    Too thin
    Too sugary
    Not enough cream of tartar
    Too much
    HELP,

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