Southern Sweet Tea

Southern Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is something my parents didn’t make when I was growing up even though we lived in the south.  My dad’s parents were northern transplants, and they all drank unsweet tea.  The first time I had sweet tea I was at our neighbors house when I was about 12 years old, and it was like drinking a little bit of heaven.  I have loved it ever since.  When I moved to Oklahoma for college, sweet tea was no where to be found except at Chick-fil-A.  Luckily, I worked a couple jobs at the mall where it was located and could get it on my breaks.

When John and I moved from northern Florida to DC, I was afraid I wouldn’t get good southern sweet tea.  John being the amazing husband that he is, learned how to make it for me.  He kept experimenting until he came up with the perfect blend of sweetness and strong tea flavor.


Start by boiling 2 quarts of water in a pot.  Add 5 family-sized tea bags and remove from heat.  We use decaffeinated because I won’t sleep at night if I have caffeinated sweet tea after 4pm.  Let steep for 5 minutes according to the directions on the box.  Stir in 2 cups (yes, two!) of sugar while it’s hot.  This isn’t something you drink every day, people.  It’s for special occasions with friends and family.  Don’t sweat it!


Pour into a large pitcher and add 2 more quarts of ice or ice water. I had big chunks of ice and filled in the space with the iced water.


By adding ice, you keep from watering the strength of the tea down because you won’t have to add ice later.


Pour into glasses (or mason jars) and enjoy!


I made these little tags for Camden’s Country Fair themed birthday party last year.  They make it easy for everyone to keep track of their drinks.

Southern Sweet Tea

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 gallon

Southern Sweet Tea


  • 2 quarts water
  • 5 family-sized tea bags
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 quarts ice or iced water


  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
  2. Add tea bags and remove from heat.
  3. Steep for 5 minutes and remove tea bags.
  4. Stir in 2 cups of sugar.
  5. Pour into a large pitcher and add 2 quarts of ice or iced water.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

It’s a great way to relax on a hot summer day.  Go ahead and enjoy!





  1. This looks so good Julie! Perfect time of year to enjoyed great iced tea. .
    Of course it’s sweet!!! ; ) ♡

  2. Hi Julie, love the photos of the tea in the jars, so cute! I live in England now and I SO miss good sweet tea from home. My husband is amazing but he’s too English to even consider making this for me!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I would love to live in England one day – it is one of my dreams. Hope this helps you out with some sweet tea from home!

  3. I love sweet tea but never make it at home

    WHAT Type Of tea SHOUld I Be Looking for?

    • We use Luzianne decaffeinated tea bags because I don’t sleep at night if I have regular. You can use Tetley or Lipton also. The family size are larger bags. It will say right on the box “family size.” Hope you enjoy making it!

Leave a Reply