International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Sweet Tea

Southern sweet tea in a Ball jar

(American Southern summer tea drink)

Image Creative Commons by RecoilRick

Average: 3.9 (8 votes)

Sweet tea is basically your regular iced tea, but brewed with a whole lot of sugar and often a squeeze of lemon. This easy, cheap beverage is very popular in the Southern United States during the hot, humid summer months.When you ask for a tea in the South, people often assume you mean sweet tea.

Makes 2 quarts


  • Water -- 2 quarts
  • Sugar -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Tea bags -- 5 or 6


  1. Add the water and sugar to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium flame, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for about 1 or 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Cover the pan with a lid and set aside to steep for about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a large pitcher. Set in the refrigerator and serve when well chilled in canning jars.

Sweet Tea Variations

  • Many Southern sweet tea makers would add much more sugar than called for here. Make it to your taste. But use any less and you're surely a Yankee.
  • Some recipes say to boil with only half the water at first. After the tea has steeped add another quart of cold water and pour into the pitcher.
  • Add the juice of 2 lemons to the hot sugar water for even better flavor. If you like, peel the rind off the lemons before squeezing and add it too.
  • Add some mint leaves to the brewing tea for an extra refreshing beverage. Strain from the tea before chilling.
  • Black tea is used most often, but green tea works well too.
  • Sweet tea is best drunk the same day it is made. After that it gets pretty stale.

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