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!
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
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.
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.
Here’s my Southern Sweet Tea recipe. I hope you love it as much as my family always has.
Southern Sweet Tea Recipe
- 4-5 family-size tea bags
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar
- 1 pinch baking soda (optional)
- 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.