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Southern Sweet Tea

sweet tea recipeSweet tea is my husband’s beverage of choice.  But he doesn’t like how I make it.  He likes how his mom makes it.  She is southern, I am not. I can’t compete with that.  I do not have tea making in my blood.  I am a Yankee through and through.  But I happen to know that Yankees can make great tea too.  My friend Kim’s mom made the best iced tea ever.  I remember many a summer afternoon in NJ being at her house after a day at the beach and guzzling her iced tea.  I do not know what made it so good.  I think that it had something to do with the pitcher that she made it in.  It was metal of some sort and always iced cold.  This tea is very similar to that, but I really need to get my hands on a metal pitcher.

I too happen to love sweet tea, but I like it to be not too sweet.  This recipe is exactly how I like it.  Nothing is better or more refreshing than a tall glass of sweet tea with sliced lemons and sprigs of mint.  It reminds me of my time at college in Charleston.  Carefree, hot days full of sunshine on the beach.

sweet tea recipe3 quarts of water
4 cold brew large tea bags
3/4 cups sugar
2 lemons sliced
sprigs of fresh mint

sweet tea recipeFill a large container with 3 quarts of water minus one cup.  On the stove melt the sugar with the one cup of water.

sweet tea recipeAdd the tea bags and let the tea steep for 30 minutes.

sweet tea recipesAfter the tea has steeped, add the sugar mixture.

sweet tea recipesAdd the slices of lemons and give it a good stir.

sweet tea recipesPour over ice and add a sprig of fresh mint.  Summer in a glass.

Print

Southern Sweet Tea


Ingredients

  • 3 quarts of water
  • 4 cold brew large tea bags
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • sprigs of fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Fill a large container with 3 quarts of water minus one cup. On the stove melt the sugar with the one cup of water.
  2. Add the tea bags and let the tea steep for 30 minutes.
  3. After the tea has steeped, add the sugar mixture.
  4. Add the slices of lemons and give it a good stir.
  5. Pour over ice and add a sprig of fresh mint. Summer in a glass.

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  1. Jim

    July 8th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Bree, shame on you for using Lipton tea bags. I have friends from Carolina mail me boxes of Luzianne tea bags so I can make my sweet tea. But I also use a cup of sugar per gallon, so what do I know?!

  2. bakedbree

    July 8th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    LOL… I hear you. I did put a disclaimer that I am a Yankee and make Yankee tea. My southern mother in law does use Lipton though..

  3. Memoria

    July 8th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Your photos look amazing! I personally like lots of sugar in my tea. Also, a true southern tea should sit out in the sun to brew. That is way my grandmother used to make it. My mom would steal the tea from the window to get a drink haha.

  4. bakedbree

    July 8th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I found a delish looking sun tea the other day that I am going to have to give a whirl. I like lots of sugar but I prefer to eat my calories, not drink them. 🙂

  5. My Man's Belly

    July 8th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    My husband is smitten with sweet tea. Four years of college in N. Carolina got him addicted to the stuff. He’s looking over my shoulder as I write this and is telling me I am making this for him tonight. 🙂

  6. bakedbree

    July 8th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I hope that he likes it!

  7. Tori

    July 8th, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    This looks so yummy!

    My mom is a southern cook, and she always makes Southern iced tea by brewing it in a tea kettle on the stove first, then into the fridge! So good and classic.

  8. bakedbree

    July 8th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Everyone has their own method. It is good and classic.

  9. Magic of Spice

    July 14th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Again, love your photos:) And the tea sounds refreshing…

  10. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    thank you… it is perfect on a hot summer day.

  11. Nicole

    July 20th, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Mmm love sweet tea…trying to convert my English hubby but he doesn’t quite get why it’s not hot…

    And did you go to CofC?!

  12. bakedbree

    July 22nd, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Yes I did! I graduated in 2000.

  13. cpitts313

    September 4th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I was interested when I saw your recipe as I have lived in the south my entire life. I have always made the family iced tea and many have told me that mine is the best. You got it very close to what I do. However, the differences are – I always use Luzianne brand and use 3 bags instead of 4. I don’t use the sun jar but boil some water, turn it off and then steep the bags for about 10 minutes. I add 3/4 cup of sugar to 1 gallon of water. Serve over ice. I have served it with lemon at special occasions but never with mint.

    Like you said, everyone has their own way. But I thought it was important to let you know that its the perfect sweetness to have 3/4 cup of sugar to 1 gallon of water and the tea can be as strong or weak as you prefer.

  14. bakedbree

    September 6th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    thanks for the tips!

  15. HASEENA MOTALA

    June 29th, 2011 at 1:37 am

    hi thanks for the recipe.your pic shows lipton iced tea bags.in south africa we get the lipton tea bags(which we use at home).can i use the same?will be trying it out today with my normal teabags and see how it goes.i have also tried iced tea made with rooibos tea.it is delish.rooibos is a type of herbal tea that is indeginious to south africa and very heathy as it contains no tannin.thanks again

  16. bakedbree

    June 29th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Sure, you can use whatever tea you have around.

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