Sweet Tea.  If you live in the Southern United States, this drink is more popular and sought after as water.  It is a staple.  The oldest recipe for dates back to a cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia in 1879.  Sweet tea is typically brewed with a lower carb and calorie content that most fruit juices and sugary soda’s.

In the south, since Sweet Tea is more commonly referred to “Tea” and they refer to this cold sweat tea and not what the rest of the United States is accompanied to Hot or Not Sweet or Plain varieties.

Drinking Sweet Tea is one of the oldest and most iconic Southern traditions.  Southerners, have a taste for sugar that is stronger than most of the versions you find up North.  It is suggested, that the reason for this was due to preserving food.  In the deep, rural south they grew Cane.  They milled it and then put it into jars.  Once the cane sugar crystalized – they were eager to stir it into their tea’s.

The South also has a fascination with ice.  I think it comes from the climate as it often very humid.  When ice houses were built, this ice was a luxury – and when you were served iced tea and the picture of tea had ice in it – you know it was a gesture of hospitality.

Here is the version I like the best of this Sweet Southern Classic:

The Perfect Sweet Tea

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Meal type Beverage
Misc Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Easter, Football Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving
Website Adapted from Lone Star Steak House


  • 5 - 8 Tea Bags (Family Size or 12 Regular Sized Tea Bags)
  • 1 Quart Boiling Water (4 Cups)
  • 3 Quarts Cool Water (12 Cups)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda


Step 1
Sprinkle baking soda into your pitcher. At Least a gallon sized is needed as this makes 1 gallon of sweet tea)
Step 2
Add your tea bags to the picture, pour your boiling water over the tea bags, and cover and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.
Step 3
Remove your and toss the tea bags, add the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Then add your cool water and refrigerate until cold and ready to drink.
Step 4
Recommend that you serve over ice, and enjoy!

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